Jakobshavn Glacier Calving Front Recession from 1851 to 2009

  • Released Friday, January 5, 2007
  • Updated Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 2:01PM
  • ID: 3630

Jakobshavn Isbrae is located on the west coast of Greenland at Latitude 69 N. The ice front, where the glacier calves into the sea, receded more than 40 km between 1850 and 2006. Between 1850 and 1964 the ice front retreated at a steady rate of about 0.3 km/yr, after which it occupied approximately the same location until 2001, when the ice front began to recede again, but far more rapidly at about 3 km/yr. As more ice moves from glaciers on land into the ocean, it causes a rise in sea level. Jakobshavn Isbrae is Greenland's largest outlet glacier, draining 6.5 percent of Greenland's ice sheet area. The ice stream's speed-up and near-doubling of the ice flow from land into the ocean has increased the rate of sea level rise by about .06 millimeters (about .002 inches) per year, or roughly 4 percent of the 20th century rate of sea level increase.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio Historic calving front locations courtesy of Anker Weidick and Ole Bennike, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.


This visualization is related to the following missions:

Datasets used in this visualization

Landsat-7 Band Combination 3, 2, 1 (Collected with the ETM+ sensor)
Landsat-7 Band Combination 7, 4, 2 (Collected with the ETM+ sensor)
Landsat Calving Front Line (Collected with the TM sensor)
Analysis2009-07-29, 2004-10-03, 2003-08-23, 2002-09-03, 2001-07-07

Calving front lines derived from Landsat imagery.

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Terra Calving Front Lines (Collected with the ASTER sensor)
Analysis2005-07-02, 2006-08-08

Calving front lines derived from Terra/ASTER imagery.

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Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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