Zackenberg Research Station (74º28’ N, 20º34’ W) is a Greenlandic research infrastructure in high arctic Northeast Greenland, 25 km northwest of the settlement Daneborg, a military outpost with twelve inhabitants. Zackenberg Research Station is operated by the Zackenberg Secretariat at the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University.
The objective of the station is to facilitate ecosystem research in the High Arctic. According to the framework programme of Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations (ZERO) this includes:
- Basic quantitative documentation of ecosystem structure and processes
- Baseline studies of intrinsic short-term and long-term variations in ecosystem functions
- Retrospective analyses of organic and inorganic material to detect past ecosystem changes
- Experimental studies enabling predictions of ecosystem responses to Global Change
This is done by:
- Providing facilities, logistic services and accommodation at Zackenberg
- Offering logistic support for transport to and from Zackenberg
- Providing access to a wide range of both biotic and abiotic data from the long-term monitoring programme, Zackenberg Basic, i.e. the long-term monitoring programme at Zackenberg.
During the summer field season (June, July and August) Zackenberg Research Station is staffed by minimum with a logistics manager, a logistician and a cook. During the rest of the year, there will be logisticians based at Zackenberg only in periods with resident researchers - and only when previously arranged for through agreement with the Zackenberg Secretariat at the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University.
Access to the station and the designated research zones for any research project is given by Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) Coordination Group on the basis of a proposal (Application form) describing aims and practicalities of the field research.
Zackenberg Research Station provides accommodation facilities for 24 persons at a time. Besides, the station has several laboratories at disposal for guest scientists. An unmanned research house in Daneborg provides accommodation for 10 people at a time. The logistics staff can help with transport to/from Zackenberg/Daneborg and with transport in the local area. Good advices in relation to your travel to/from Zackenberg/Daneborg and your stay at Zackenberg/Daneborg are collected in the ZERO Site Manual.
The study area around Zackenberg is in the zone of continuous permafrost with an active layer thickness varying from 20 to 100 cm. A major geological flexure and thrust zone dissecting Zackenbergdalen (note: 'dalen'= 'the valley'), the core study area, separates Caledonian gneiss bedrock (to the west) from Cretaceous sandstones and Tertiary basalts (to the east). The margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet is located c. 60 km to the west of Zackenberg Research Station. The core study area was de-glaciated c. 8,000 years ago and it holds a great diversity of biotopes like ponds, fens, heaths, fell field plateaus and grasslands.
An extensive monitoring programme, Zackenberg Basic, is carried out as an integrated part of Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations. Data from this monitoring are provided free-of-charge to anyone being interested in making use of the data. The monitoring is carried out in cooperation between Danish and Greenlandic institutions, including:
- Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
- Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
- University of Copenhagen
- Asiaq - Greenland Survey
- Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
The Zackenberg secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org can help you with issues relating to research, monitoring and logistics at Zackenberg Research Station.