Location of Disko Island in Greenland
|Area||8,578 km2 (3,312 sq mi)|
|Area rank||84th largest in world|
2nd largest in Greenland
|Length||160 km (99 mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,919 m (6296 ft)|
|Largest settlement||Qeqertarsuaq (pop. 839)|
|Pop. density||0.13/km2 (0.34/sq mi)|
Disko Island (Greenlandic: Qeqertarsuaq, Danish: Diskoøen) is a large island in Baffin Bay, off the west coast of Greenland. It has an area of 8,578 km2 (3,312.0 sq mi), making it the second largest of Greenland after the main island and one of the 100 largest islands in the world. The name Qeqertarsuaq means The Large Island (from qeqertaq = island).
The island has a length of about 160 km (99.4 mi), rising to an average height of 975 m (3,198.8 ft), peaking at 1,919 m (6,295.9 ft). The port of Qeqertarsuaq (named after the island, and also known as Godhavn) lies on its southern coast. Blæsedalen valley is north of Qeqertarsuaq.
Mineral deposits, fossil finds and geological formations add to interest in the area. One of the interesting geological features is the native iron found at the island. A 22-ton (44,000 lbs; 20 tonnes) lump mixture of iron and iron carbide (cohenite) has been found. There are only a few places on earth where native iron is found which is not of meteoric origin.
Several studies on the meiofauna show high marine interstitial diversity in Disko Island. For instance, the gastrotrich species Diuronotus aspetos is found in Iterdla and Kigdlugssaitsut and is so far reported only in Disko Island. It is associated with a rich diversity of other gastrotrichs like Chaetonotus atrox, Halichaetonotus sp., Mesodasys sp., Paradasys sp., Tetranchyroderma sp., Thaumastoderma sp. and Turbanella sp.