Rink Glacier Multi-Year Surface Elevation Comparison

  • Released Friday, September 7, 2018
View full credits

Since 1993, the Airborne Topographic Mapper or ATM has been monitoring elevation changes of 160 outlet glaciers in Greenland, many of them on an almost annual basis. Rink Glacier in central west Greenland is one example of a 25-year-long time series of elevation changes.

In these visualizations, elevation data for each aircraft flight over the glacier are illustrated using spheres 1m in diameter, with each sphere representing a specific measurement. When viewed together, the spheres form sheets defining the observed surface of the glacier for a given year. The spheres are colored by year, and over time we can see how the glacier's elevation changes.

Towards the end of the visualization, the study area of the Rink Glacier is compared to the future coverage of the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), as represented by bright green crisscrossing ground tracks.

This visualization explores 25 years of elevation measurements from the Airborne Topographic Mapper over the Rink glacier in Greenland. Each year is color-coded with blues representing the oldest data and red representing the newest. The camera zooms in to a view comparing data collected from many aircraft flights over the same region, showing the ice loss over several years. The camera then zooms out to see the coverage pattern for ICESat-2, which will study ice loss on a global scale.
This video is also available on our YouTube channel.

This visualization explores 25 years of elevation measurements from the Airborne Topographic Mapper over the Rink glacier in Greenland. Each year is color-coded with blues representing the oldest data and red representing the newest. The camera zooms in to a view comparing data collected from many aircraft flights over the same region, showing the ice loss over several years. The camera then zooms out to see the coverage pattern for ICESat-2, which will study ice loss on a global scale. This version has no dates or legends.

Print Still - 25 years of elevation measurements over the Rink glacier, color coded by year.  Each line represents data recorded during an airfract flight over the glacier.

Print Still - 25 years of elevation measurements over the Rink glacier, color coded by year. Each line represents data recorded during an airfract flight over the glacier.

Print Still - 25 years of elevation measurements over the Rink glacier, color coded by year.

Print Still - 25 years of elevation measurements over the Rink glacier, color coded by year.

Print Still - 25 years of elevation measurements over the Rink glacier, color coded by year.

Print Still - 25 years of elevation measurements over the Rink glacier, color coded by year.

Print Still - Side view of elevation data, color coded by year

Print Still - Side view of elevation data, color coded by year

Print Still - Side view of elevation data from 1993 (blue) and 2015 (red)

Print Still - Side view of elevation data from 1993 (blue) and 2015 (red)

Print Still - Side view of elevation data from 1993 (blue) and 2015 (red).  Surface is aproximated by shading/highlighting.

Print Still - Side view of elevation data from 1993 (blue) and 2015 (red). Surface is aproximated by shading/highlighting.

Print Still - ICESat-2 orbit and ground tracks showing global coverage.

Print Still - ICESat-2 orbit and ground tracks showing global coverage.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Friday, September 7, 2018.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 12:12 AM EST.


Datasets used in this visualization

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.