Seasonal Speed Variation on Heimdal Glacier
Seasonal variations, seen in this animation on the lower 25 kilometers of Heimdal Glacier in southeast Greenland, are caused by a combination of processes. For Heimdal, the largest forcing for flow variation is likely the input of increasing amounts of surface melt water through the Spring and Summer, but there is also an interplay between calving of ice from the end of the glacier, flow acceleration as shown in the animation, and thinning of the ice due to the extra stretching from the faster flow.
By measuring these changes in flow on seasonal timescales, scientists can develop a better understanding of what controls the flow of these glaciers where they meet the ocean. This understanding will improve our ability to anticipate flow responses of these systems in a warming climate.
This visualization shows the seasonal ice velocity on the Heimdal Glacier in Greenland between October 2013 and October 2016. The color of the flow vectors represent the speed of the flow, with purple representing the slow moving ice and red showing the fast ice. The color scale is displayed in the lower left corner.
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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
- Matthew Radcliff (KBRwyle)
MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
Datasets used in this visualization
RADARSAT-1 (Collected with the SAR sensor)
Credit: Additional credit goes to Canadian Space Agency, RADARSAT International Inc.See more visualizations using this data set
Landsat-8 GoLIVE (A.K.A. Global Land Ice Velocity)
Credit: Mark Fahnstock (Univ. of Alaska), Twila Moon (Univ. of Bristol), Ted Scambos (Univ. of Colorado/NSIDC), Marin Klinger (Univ. of Colorado/NSIDC), Alex Gardner (JPL), Terry Haran (Univ. of Colorado/NSIDC)See more visualizations using this data set
GIMP Greenland DEM (A.K.A. Greenland Mapping Project (GIMP) Digital Elevation Model)
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.