Russell Glacier (Greenland)

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This article is about the glacier in Greenland. For the glacier on Washington's Mount Rainier, see Russell Glacier (Mount Rainier).
Russell Glacier
Russell Glacier: the fresh meltwater outflow and remains of berg bombardment
Location Isunngua, Qeqqata, Greenland
Coordinates 67°05′45″N 50°13′00″W / 67.09583°N 50.21667°W / 67.09583; -50.21667Coordinates: 67°05′45″N 50°13′00″W / 67.09583°N 50.21667°W / 67.09583; -50.21667
Terminus Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua
the Glacier

Russell Glacier (Danish: Russells Gletscher) is a glacier in the Qeqqata municipality in central-western Greenland. It flows from the Greenland ice sheet (Greenlandic: Sermersuaq) in the western direction. The front of the glacier is located 25 km (16 mi) east of Kangerlussuaq. It is active, advancing 25 m (82 ft) every year,[1] and due to easy approach it remains a popular tourist target.


One of the caves leading to the glacier base.
Russell Glacier is located in Greenland
Russell Glacier
Russell Glacier
Location within Greenland

The ice sheet outflow ending in Russell Glacier is bounded from the north by the tundra highland of Isunngua and from the south by an exposed, barren, flattened ridge of Akuliarusiarsuk. Several meltwater outflow streams from the base of the glacier form the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua river, which flows west-south-west towards Kangerlussuaq. The sandur basin of the outflow river forming the valley of the same name (Danish: Sandflugtdalen) is very shallow; shallow enough to form quicksand fields several kilometers long.[2]

Directly to the west of the glacier is a large lake, the 2x10km[2] Aajuitsup Tasia. Due to minimal height differential, its waters are not conjoint with the meltwater outflow lake immediately to the west of Russell Glacier.

A sibling, unnamed glacier approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) to the southeast of Russell Glacier is the source to the wide outflow meltwater river of Qinnguata Kuussua. The confluence of the latter and the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua river flowing from Russell Glacier is located at the eastern outskirts of the Kangerlussuaq settlement near the end of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, and used to be known as Watson River.


  1. ^ O'Carroll, Etain (2005). Greenland and the Arctic. Lonely Planet. p. 167. ISBN 1-74059-095-3. 
  2. ^ a b Greenland Tourism a/s. Vandrekort Vestgrønland: Kangerlussuaq (Map). Cartography by Compukort, Denmark (1996 ed.).