Earth  ID: 3962

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 center west, ice flow speeds increase by nearly a factor of 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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Visualization Credits

Cindy Starr (GST): Lead Visualizer
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Eric J. Rignot (NASA/JPL CalTech): Narrator
Jefferson Beck (USRA): Producer
Alan Buis (NASA/JPL CalTech): Producer
Eric J. Rignot (NASA/JPL CalTech): Scientist
Jeremie Mouginot (University of California, Irvine): Scientist
Ian Howat (Ohio State University): Scientist
Ted Scambos (NSIDC): Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET): Project Support
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The topographic data used in the video are unpublished but courtesy of Ian Howat, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.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.

Science Paper:
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/2012GL051634

Short URL to share this page:
https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/3962

Mission:
Terra

Data Used:
also referred to as: Greenland Ice Sheet Velocity
JPL
Assembled from satellite radar interferometry data acquired during the International Polar Year (2008-2009). The satellites are Envisat Advanced Synthetic-Aperture Radar (ASAR), Advanced Land Observation System's (ALOS) Phase-Array L-band SAR (PALSAR), RADARSAT-1 SAR
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble: Next Generation also referred to as: BMNG
2004
Credit:
The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
Greenland Mapping Project (GIMP) Digital Elevation Model also referred to as: GIMP Greenland DEM
Data Compilation - Courtesy of Ian Howat, OSU - 2003 - 2009
also referred to as: Digital Mosaic of Ice Motion in Greenland
Data Compilation - NASA JPL and UC, Irvine
Digital Mosaic of Ice Motion in Greenland from satellite radar interferometry data acquired during the International Polar Year 2008 to 2009 by the Envisat Advanced Synthetic-Aperture Radar (ASAR), the Advanced Land Observation System (ALOS)'s Phase-Array L-band SAR (PALSAR) and the RADARSAT-1 SAR
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.

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 >> Hyperwall
DLESE >> Narrated
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation

GCMD 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