Thule (thōˈlē, tōˈ–) [key] or Qaanaaq känäkˈ, town (1995 pop. 627), N Greenland, on the north side of Inglefield Gulf. The name of Thule was originally attached to the main settlement for the Thule Eskimos, founded in 1910 by the arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen as a trading post on the south side of Wolstenholme Fjord at the site of the present-day Thule Air Base. Built during World War II, the base was greatly expanded after 1951 during the cold war. The Thule Eskimos were forced to move the settlement of Thule (as well as the name) c.62 mi (100 km) to Qaanaaq. The site of Thule Air Base is officially named Pituffik. Pituffik is also a base for Danish and U.S. scientific operations on the ice sheet and serves as the airport for Greenland NW of Cape York.
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