Greenland is the world’s largest island over three-quarters of which is covered by the only permanent ice sheet outside of Antartica. Formed during the Pleistocene Ice Ages (1.6 million years ago - 10,000 years ago) this ice sheet reaches a depth of 3.42 km, and is so heavy that its base is 200 m below sea level.
The Illulissat Icefjord which flows into Disko Bay, is the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. With a flow rate of up to 35 km/day, 20 billion tons of ice is calved from the Jacobshaven Isbrae glacier face, at the head of fjord each year. Since the year 2000, the glacier acceleration has almost doubled. These icebergs often reach 1 km in height, and gradually drift up the coast of greenland before crossing Baffin Bay and drifting down the coast of Canada. Over 90 percent of all northern hemisphere icebergs originate from Disko Bay Greenland, a world heritage site, and it is likely that the icebergs struck by the Titanic originated from this region.
Greenland has been inhabited off and on for at least the last 4,500 years by Arctic peoples whose forebears migrated there from what is now Canada. Norseman settled the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century, and Inuit peoples arrived in the 13th century.