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Starr Nunatak, on the coast of Victoria Land, Antarctica.
Cântaro Magro, Serra da Estrela, Portugal, formed as nunatak during the last ice age and now exposed.

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Greenlandic nunataq.


  • IPA(key): /ˈnʌnətæk/, /ˈnuːnətæk/
  • Hyphenation: nun‧a‧tak


nunatak (plural nunataks or nunataker)

  1. A mountain top or rocky element of a ridge that is surrounded by glacial ice but is not covered by ice; a peak protruding from the surface ice sheet. [from 1870s]
    • 1922, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913, Volume 2, Constable and Company Ltd. (1922), page 365:
      We made for a slope close to the end of the island or nunatak, where Shackleton must have got up also; it is obviously the only place when you look at it from a commanding rise.
    • 2008, Andrea M. J. Coronato, Fernando Coronato, Elizabeth Mazzoni, & Miriam Vásquez, "The Physical Geography of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego", in The Late Cenozoic of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego (ed. J. Rabassa), Elsevier (2008), →ISBN, page 45:
      Only a few lichens and mosses colonize the rocky walls of cirques and nunataks.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 155:
      The peak in whose lee you have chosen to set up your command post is far too regular in shape to be the nunatak you imagine it.


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Further reading[edit]