Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA flights map summer melt of Greenland Ice Sheet

11.09.2017

Operation IceBridge is flying in Greenland to measure how much ice has melted over the course of the summer from the ice sheet. The flights, which began on Aug. 25 and will go on until Sept. 21, repeat paths flown this spring and aim to monitor seasonal changes in the elevation of the ice sheet.

"We started to mount these summer campaigns on a regular basis two years ago," said Joe MacGregor, IceBridge's deputy project scientist and a glaciologist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "If the flights go as expected, the result will be a high-quality survey of some of the fastest melting areas in Greenland and across as much of the island as possible."


Terminus of the Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier in northeast Greenland, as seen from 28,000 feet during an Operation IceBridge flight on Aug. 29, 2017.

Credit: NASA/LVIS Team

The image above was taken during a research flight carried on Aug. 29 and shows the calving front -the end of the glacier, from where it sheds chunks of ice- of the Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier in northeast Greenland. During the first week of the end-of-summer campaign, IceBridge was based in Thule Air Base, in northwest Greenland.

The melt season ends earlier in the north of the island, and IceBridge aimed to complete its northernmost flights before any significant snowfall had occurred there. From Thule, the campaign surveyed the northwest coast of Greenland, and the fast-changing Zachariæ Isstrøm, Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79ºN) and Petermann glaciers.

On Sept. 1, the IceBridge team moved to Kangerlussuaq, in central western Greenland, from where they plan to fly over fast-changing areas such as Jakobshavn Isbræ and Helheim Glacier. The goal is to accomplish 16 flights in total during the campaign.

For this campaign, IceBridge is flying on a B200T King Air aircraft from Dynamic Aviation, a NASA contractor. The plane is carrying the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor, a laser instrument built by Goddard that measures changes in the ice elevation with an accuracy better than 4 inches, and a high-resolution camera system to map the ice surface.

The summer flights are about five and a quarter hours long, shorter than the 8-hour missions carried during IceBridge's spring Arctic campaign, so the original paths flown have been straightened to better suit the elevation at which the B200T flies --about 28,000 feet, much higher than that of the regular spring flights.

"For this campaign, we're mapping as broad an area as possible, because we want to understand the seasonal cycle of elevation change across the entire ice sheet," MacGregor said. "When NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission is up and running next year, it'll be mapping these changes continuously. We need to better understand the magnitude of seasonal elevation change between the spring and the summer right now so that we have a starting point from which to evaluate any trend observed by ICESat-2."

###

The mission of Operation IceBridge, NASA's longest-running airborne mission to monitor polar ice, is to collect data on changing polar land and sea ice and maintain continuity of measurements between ICESat missions. The original ICESat mission launched in 2003 and ended in 2009, and its successor, ICESat-2, is scheduled for launch in late 2018. Operation IceBridge began in 2009 and is currently funded until 2019. The planned overlap with ICESat-2 will help scientists validate the satellite's measurements.

For more about Operation IceBridge and to follow the current campaign, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/icebridge

Robert Gutro | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Goddard Space Flight Center ICESat-2 IceBridge NASA summer melt

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war
20.11.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

Less is more to produce top-notch 2D materials

20.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>