Field sites

The SILA project is based in southwestern Greenland in two areas, one located around the coastal town of Sisimiut and the other near the inland town of Kangerlussuaq near the ice sheet edge.  Several watersheds will be sampled that form a transect from the ice edge to the coast.  The geology is fairly constant across the transect with bedrock composed of the 2.8 billion year old orthogniess of the Nagssugtoqidian Mobil Belt overlain by recent glacial tills.  However a steep precipitation gradient increases discharge of streams without meltwater drainage with distance from the ice.  The changes in water availability alter ecosystems from desert like conditions near the ice edge to maritime humid conditions near the coast.  The changes in the environmental characteristics will provide information on the ways in which high latitude landscapes may have evolved during their exposure during retreat of the ice sheets.