Earth 

Accelerating Ice Sheet

During the summer melt season, melt water accumulates in undulations on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet. Eventually, these melt lakes drain through crevasses or moulins (tunnels under the ice sheet surface), delivering water to the bottom of the ice sheet. This melt water lubricates the interface between the ice and the bedrock, causing the ice to flow faster toward the sea during summer. As summer melt increases and more melt water is available, the greater its effect on summer ice sheet flow rates.


Animation Credits

Susan Twardy (HTSI): Lead Animator
Maria Frostic (UMBC): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

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SVS >> Copenhagen
NASA Science >> Earth