Station Manager:
Sam Dorsi


Summit Station is funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by Battelle Arctic Research Operations (ARO) with guidance from the Science Coordination Office (SCO).


Summit Station (72°36’ N, 38°25’ W), is a research platform locat­ed near the apex of the Greenland ice sheet, at an altitude of 3210 meters. It is located within Kalaallit Nunaanni nuna eqqissisimatitaq, or the Northeast Greenland National Park. This is the largest national park in the world, and it protects 972,000 square km of inland ice and glaciers as well as adjoining coastal land areas.


Summit Station is located in the high polar plateau of the Greenland ice sheet. Minimal snow topography is present, and the nearest point of exposed land is approximately 400 km away. The station is in accumulation zone of the ice sheet, and experiences approximately 0.7 meters of snow accumulation per year. The effective pressure altitude ranges from 11,000 to 13,000 feet. Temperatures range from -88 F in the winter to approximately 32 F in the summer. Wind speeds in the summer are generally mild, but can exceed 40 knots during storm events. In the wintertime, sustained wind speeds have been recorded in excess of 70 knots.

Summit Station offers access to a high-elevation, high-latitude, low-water-vapor, and year-round-supported location. This enables researchers to measure components of the earth system that would otherwise not be accessible. The facility is currently the highest elevation research station located north of the Arctic Circle.


Summit Station was established for the collection of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core. At that time, seasonal campaigns were undertaken to measure atmospheric com­ponents, in order to improve the interpretation of the ice core records. Recognition of the value of observations at the site led to intensive measurement campaigns, and eventually continuous year-round staffed research activities since 2003. Summit Station has become a world-class Arctic observatory as part of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) and the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) network. The station facilities consist of a combination of permanent year-round science and operations structures, as well as seasonal structures to accommodate summertime research campaigns and maintenance. The station serves a seasonal population of up to 45 staff and researchers during the months of April – September, and a staff of 4-6 staff during October – March.



A wide variety of research projects have been conducted at Sum­mit Station since its establishment in 1989. Summit Station has developed into an interdisciplinary research hub supporting a wide range of scientific research on a year-round basis. The fields of meteorology, glaciology, atmospheric chemistry, and astrophysics are all represented. In addition to investigator-driven projects, Summit Station houses a LTO program committed to maintaining year-round measurements of key baseline variables of climate change at the site.

A table of current measurements, publications and contacts by which to access Summit Station datasets can be found at the GEO­Summit website: www.geo-summit.org



The nearest local community to Summit Station is Ilulissat at a distance of 593 km. The Summit Station research community collaborates with researchers in Greenland, Denmark, and across the world.


Research access to Summit Station is managed by the US National Science Foundation. Information on requesting access and logistical support is available at the Battelle Arctic Gateway: https://battellearcticgateway.org/program-information

Researchers must also meet the science permitting requirements of the Government of Greenland.

Physical access for researchers and cargo is provided via Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, on Hercules LC-130 aircraft operated by the New York Air National Guard 109th Airlift Wing (NYANG-109), as well as other ski-equipped aircraft. A 4877-meter-long snow runway is groomed for summertime flight operations. The station can also be accessed via surface traverses.


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