The Kangertittivaq is a fjord system in the Greenland Sea on the east coast of Greenland. It has a tree-like structure, the 110 km long main basin of which branches off into several fjords and thus has a total area of 38,000 km² (for comparison: Denmark has an area of around 43,000 km²). The longest fjord stretches over 340-350 km. The depth is 400–600 m in the main basin, in the fjords it falls to 1450 m, making it the largest and longest fjord system in the world.
The fjord complex was discovered in 1822 by the English whaler William Scoresby, who mapped the east coast of Greenland between 69 ° and 75 ° north with relative accuracy. He named it Scoresby’s Sound in honor of his father. The exploration and detailed mapping of the inner fjord was carried out by Carl Ryder in 1891/92. There are numerous islands there. The largest of them, Milne Land, covers an area of 3913 km² and is located in the middle of the inlet. On the north side of the exit is Ittoqqortoormiit, the only permanently populated city in the area with 345 inhabitants (as of 2020).
The exit between Kangikajik (Cape Brewster) and Uunarteq (Cape Tobin) is 29 km wide. Its southern part is a steep, 1000-2000 m large basalt wall, the northern side is lower and more rounded. The estuary continues west for 110 km, then turns slightly north, expanding and forming a basin called Hall Bredning. From there the inlet splits into several branches, including the Nordwestfjord, Øfjord (which in turn is divided into Rypefjord and Harefjord), Røde Fjord, Gasefjord and Fønfjord. Milne Land lies between the Øfjord and the Fønfjord. The land surrounding the fjord is mountainous and has towering cliffs right on the fjord. In some places there are also glaciers.
The climate is very arctic, as shown by a long cold winter and violent storms. The temperatures from January to March fluctuate between −22.5 and −8.4 ° C, the average from 1971–1981 between −15 and −18 ° C. In the short summer, the temperatures are essentially less than +5 ° C; in 1971–1981 they fluctuated between +0.5 and +3 ° C. The first snowfall usually sets in in September and continues until June, and the fjord freezes over towards the end of October. Between late November and mid-January, the sun does not rise above the horizon. There is little rainfall, about 30 mm per month. Twice a day there are tides with a tidal range of 1.3 meters.
The fauna of the area is exceptionally rich for Greenland. This is due to some special factors, such as the availability of free water in the exit in the form of polynjas, which do not freeze even in winter, as well as the protection from winds due to the high relief, and relatively fertile land. The animals on land include musk ox, arctic fox, ermine, mountain hares and lemmings. The reindeer and arctic wolf once lived here, but disappeared around the 20th century.
Birds include barnacle geese, short-billed geese, snow geese, whooper swans, king eider ducks, eider ducks, long-tailed ducks, thick-billed muzzles, black guillemots, crab grebes, puffins, petrels, herring gulls, arctic gulls, jacketed gulls, kittiwakes, arctic terns, arctic terns – Owls, Greenlandic gyrfalcons, etc. Most of them are emigrated species and form large colonies that can consist of millions of individuals (e.g. crab grebes).
Among the fish, the arctic char, the black halibut, the polar cod, cuttlefish, the striped sea wolf, sea scorpions and the greenland shark should be mentioned. The majority of the mammals in the water are occupied by seals (ringed, bearded, harp seals, collapsible caps and harbor seals), which feed on fish (mostly polar cod) in winter and crustaceans in summer. Larger specimens are the Atlantic walrus, the narwhal and sometimes the beluga.