Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I just found this while tidying up. I think it will make an excellent decoration for my shed. I bought it when I was researching for my book on Wegener.

The place where I went is called Ummannaq. It is on a tiny island just off the west coast (a lot of the settlements in Greenland are on islands because that is the best place to avoid the mosquitoes of early summer).

Ummannaq is on the map on the left side, close to the top just before the insert. It was cold and very beautiful, and just looking at it reminds me of a narrow shelf beside an iceberg-filled sea where some writers had a hut one summer. That was some retreat! I've always planned to go back there some day.


Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

I happened to be looking at this part of Greenland on Google Earth last night. There are amazing photographs of a huge glacier reaching the sea just a little further south down the coast from Ummannaq at a place called Ilulissat.

This is the first time I have used Google Earth. It is really a fantastic software. I was able to visit the area I studied in the Alps as a student. The software even lets me make my own Geological map on top of the 3D photographs.

Wed Feb 04, 09:53:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I've been there, Jonathan! It's quite a place - a short walk from the settlement and you come to a headland and there is the ice - a great vast field of it. Apparently it is the most productive glacier in the world churning out huge iceberg after huge iceberg. Then, there is the settlement - that is interesting too. There is a tiny museum dedicated to Knud Rassmussen, the explorer - it was his birthplace at the end of the 19th cent and furnished exactly as it was then. Ah, wonderful place. I was so lucky to go there.

And google earth, yes - utterly fantastic. I didn't know about the geological maps though...or are they just yours?

Wed Feb 04, 10:11:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

I don't know if there are geological maps already loaded. I haven't seen any. But I have been using the polygon tool to draw geological formations on to the photograph. These can then be filled with colour to create a map. Easy, if you know what you're looking at.

Wed Feb 04, 10:32:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Ah, I think I'd need the fact I'm sure I would! I read somewhere a few months ago about geological maps for the whole world being available - can't remember where though. Probably not google earth if you haven't come across them - and no idea of the scale.

Wed Feb 04, 10:39:00 pm  
Blogger jem said...

I would love to go somewhere so remote. I read a novel recently about an ice-breaker ship sailing to the Antarctic and I thought that would be fantastic, cold but so inspiring. I think being away from the centres of mankind allows you to understand your species more.

Thu Feb 05, 11:28:00 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Retreat - that's a good way of putting the idea that you need to get away from your own version of urbanity in order to get your head space for juicy ideas...

Not sure how I'd survive in the cold, with me arthuritis and all...

Thu Feb 05, 04:16:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Yes, Jem - I wonder if you can have too much of a good thing though. I remember reading as part of my research about various people that went mad as a result of being isolated in the snow. Mikkelson, I think his name was - there was an interesting story...(which I can't remember):-)

Do you really get arthritis, Barbara! My heartfelt sympathies if so! My parents both have it badly and it is inherited apparently - so these days I'm aware of each ache and pain.

Thu Feb 05, 09:10:00 pm  

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