The Kangerluarsuk Fjord forms the southeast boundary of the Ilimaussaq Complex. Like Tunulliarfik, the fjord cuts right through the complex. Steep cliffs rise from each side of the fjord. A large, relatively flat, rock-strewn area is located at the end of the fjord and is one of the three most productive areas in the complex.
The Tunulliarfik Fjord cuts right through the middle of the Ilimaussaq Complex. Traveling by boat from Narsaq the sights are wondrous; the deep blue water of the fjords broken by massive white and blue icebergs contrasts remarkably to the rocky cliffs and sparse vegetation on either side of the fjord. Upon approaching the transition zone into the complex the appearance of the land changes abruptly.
Atop Kvanefjeld one is greeted with a wonderful view of the valley below, Narsaq in the distance, and the iceberg dotted fjords. It is easy to spend the entire day exploring the relatively flat areas at the top, and digging through the years of tailings that the locals have amassed while searching for gem red tugtupite.
There are three areas of interest on the Taseq Slopes: the eastern slopes, middle slopes, and western slopes. Only the western slopes have been extensively surveyed (by H. Sorensen and others in the mid 60’s). This area is noted for the heavy concentrations of beryllium, and produces some fantastic specimens. The middle slopes and eastern slopes both produce great examples of sodalite and tugtupite, along with a myriad of unidentified species.
We will divide this blog into a 5 series post with a focus on the following areas:
- Overview of Greenland and the Fluorescent Minerals from this Locality
- Kvanefjeld Minerals
- Taseq Slope Minerals
- Tunuliarfik Minerals
- Kangerlussaq Minerals
A rare gemstone, greenlandite began its remarkable journey in the land of Greenland, where rugged landscapes and fascinating geology intertwined. Greenland was renowned for its geological diversity and bountiful array of minerals, but only some were as captivating as the precious stone known as "Greenlandite."
"Howie and His White Whale" is a combined report of one man's initial trip and how it turned into a subsequent quest for "Ahab's white whale" of fluorescent minerals - and became an obsession. (Howie has visited the complex with us every year except for the first.)
Welcome to our monthly feature where we showcase a special mineral. This month, we are excited to highlight Nuummite, an exquisite metamorphic rock renowned for its deep black color and shimmering golden bands. To unravel the history and origin of this ancient stone, we embark on a journey to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, accessible only by boat.
Minerals which are capable of this reversible color change by exposure to UV (or other energy sources), without any change in their essential composition, are said to be tenebrescent
Tugtupite is the most widely known fluorescent mineral from Greeenland. It is used in making beautiful tugtupite cabochons.
Recently I posted a question about Afghan sodalite (hackmanite) after reviewing the MinRec article about Sar-E-Sang. Someone reminded me that there was a large discussion on this topic last year. I dug out that discussion and copied it here to the blog. This is one reason we created Nature's Rainbows - to capture these excellent discussions.