Hans Tausen Iskappe

Satellite photo of Peary Land with the Hans thousands icecap west of the ice-free area

The Hans thousands icecap (Danish Hans thousands Iskappe ) is the second largest ice cap in northern Greenland and the largest in Peary Land. She is one of the northernmost ice caps around the world and one of the few outlet glaciers calve their directly into the Arctic Ocean. The namesake of thousands Hans was a Danish reformer of the 16th century.


The extension of Hans- thousands - ice cap is in north-south direction and 75 to 100 km in east-west direction of 50 to 80 km. It is bounded on the south by the Wandeltal and is only 20 km from the northern edge of the Greenland ice sheet. The ice cap ends here at 500 m height. In the west and north, the outlet glaciers flow directly into the J. P. Koch Fjord and O. B. Bøggild Fjord. The Adolf Jensen Fjord penetrates from the north more than 25 kilometers into the area of the ice cap before. In the east it is separated by the Odinfjord of the Heimdal and the Bure icecap.

The size of the Hans- thousands - icecap is given as 4208 km ² and 3975 km ². In its central part it reaches heights of over 1300 m. The ice thickness varies between 300 m in the south and 100 to 400 m in the northern part. About one extending in a north-south direction valley thickness was measured by 600 m.

Glacial history

During the last ice age, the Hans- thousands - ice cap was probably connected with the Greenland ice sheet and ice caps over northern Peary Land. After the beginning of the Holocene began about 10,000 years ago, the ice melted, the 8100 years ago that caused the latest that the Hans thousands plateau was free of ice. Today's Hans- thousands - ice cap is only 3,500 to 4,000 years old, have as ice cores arise. The re- icing of the area continued until the beginning of the 20th century and then came to a halt or slightly lower.