Minimize Uummannaq Island, Greenland

It is no mystery how Uummannaq Island got its name. In Greenlandic, the word means "heart-shaped," an apt description for the multi-peaked mountain that towers over the 12 square kilometre (5 square mile) island.

Located off the coast of northwestern Greenland in Uummannaq Fjord, the mountain's granite and gneiss peak rises sharply from sea level to about 1,170 metres (3,840 feet), giving Uummannaq three times the height of One World Trade Center (the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere). The rock that makes up Uummannaq is ancient, likely forming 3.0 to 2.8 billion years ago during the Archean Eon.

Located well north of the Arctic Circle, Uummannaq Island is home to one of the most northerly towns in Greenland. The sun never drops below the horizon for nearly three months in summer, and winter brings months of darkness. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the EO-1 satellite captured this image of the island on May 16, 2012.

Looking down from above, it can be difficult to locate the summit. But the two-pronged shadow falling to the north offers a sense of the mountain's sharp relief. Sea ice still surrounded the island, but breaks in the ice-called leads-expose seawater beneath it. Usually, sea ice around Uummannaq breaks up and drifts away by the end of May.

View the full resolution image.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Uummannaq Island, Greenland

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