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Greenland Ice Flow

Greenland looks like a big pile of snow seen from space using a regular camera. But satellite radar interferometry helps us detect the motion of ice beneath the snow. Ice starts flowing from the flanks of topographic divides in the interior of the island, and increases in speed toward the coastline where it is channelized along a set of narrow, powerful outlet glaciers. In the east, these glaciers make their sinuous way through complex terrain at low speed. They form long floating extensions that deform slowly in the cold north. As we move toward sectors of higher snowfall in the northwest and centre west, ice flow speeds increase by nearly a factor 10, with many, smaller glaciers flowing straight down to the coastline at several kilometers per year.

This complete description of ice motion was only made possible from the coordinated effort of four space agencies: the Japanese Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The data will help scientists improve their understanding of the dynamics of ice in Greenland and in projecting how the Greenland Ice Sheet will respond to climate change in the decades and centuries to come.

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This animation shows how ice is naturally transported from interior topographic divides to the coast via glaciers. The colors represent the speed of ice flow, with areas in red and purple flowing the fastest at rates of kilometers per year.  The vectors indicate the direction of flow.    This animation shows how ice is naturally transported from interior topographic divides to the coast via glaciers. The colors represent the speed of ice flow, with areas in red and purple flowing the fastest at rates of kilometers per year. The vectors indicate the direction of flow.
Duration: 1.1 minutes
Available formats:
  1920x1080 (60 fps) MPEG-4   991 MB
  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-4   540 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) MPEG-4   118 MB
  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-4   154 MB
  480x270 (30 fps) MPEG-4   16 MB
  1280x720 (59.94 fps) QT         41 MB
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  320x180     PNG           87 KB
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A high resolution still image showing the velocity flow over Greenland.    A high resolution still image showing the velocity flow over Greenland.

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  3840 x 2160     TIFF     12 MB


A high resolution still image showing the velocity flow over the Nioghalvfjerdsbrae Glacier, also known as    A high resolution still image showing the velocity flow over the Nioghalvfjerdsbrae Glacier, also known as "79 N Glacier", in Greenland.

Available formats:
  3840 x 2160     TIFF     12 MB


A high resolution still image showing the velocity flow on the west coast of Greenland.    A high resolution still image showing the velocity flow on the west coast of Greenland.

Available formats:
  3840 x 2160     TIFF     12 MB


Greenland ice flow map assembled with data from 2008 to 2009.    Greenland ice flow map assembled with data from 2008 to 2009.

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  Download     KEYNOTE 41 MB
  Download     POWERPOINT 40 MB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3962
Animation Number:3962
Completed:2012-06-25
Animators:Cindy Starr (GST) (Lead)
 Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC)
 Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)
Narrator:Eric J. Rignot (NASA/JPL)
Producers:Jefferson Beck (USRA)
 Alan Buis (NASA/JPL)
Scientists:Eric J. Rignot (NASA/JPL)
 Jeremie Mouginot (University of California, Irvine)
 Ian Howat (Ohio State University)
 Ted Scambos (NSIDC)
Project Support:Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
 Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:Greenland Ice Sheet Velocity
 Digital Mosaic of Ice Motion in Greenland
 Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble: Next Generation (2004)
 Greenland Mapping Project (GIMP) Digital Elevation Model (2003 - 2009)
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

The topographic data used in the video are unpublished but courtesy of Ian Howat, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

The MOG mosaic (MODIS) is courtesy of T. Scambos, NSDIC, Bouder, CO.
 
Keywords:
DLESE >> Cryology
SVS >> HDTV
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets >> Glacier Motion/Ice Sheet Motion
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets >> Glacier Topography/Ice Sheet Topography
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets >> Ice Sheets
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Ice Motion
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Ice Velocity
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Ice Motion
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Ice Velocity
GCMD >> Location >> Greenland
SVS >> Greenland
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation
DEPC Metadata is available here.
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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