NASA Releases New, Detailed Greenland Glacier Data

NASA Releases New, Detailed Greenland Glacier Data

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admin Dec 29, 2016

NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission has released prior data on the heights of Greenland seaside glaciers from its first airborne campaign in March 2016. The new data show the dramatic rise in coverage that the mission provides to scientists and other interested users. Finalized data on glacier surface heights, accurate within three feet (one meter) or less vertically, will be available by Feb. 1, 2017.

As glaciers rupture, melt and retreat, they generally speed up. That makes them extend and causes their top surfaces to drop lower. By setting eyes on how Greenland glaciers' heights change during the five-year OMG campaign, scientists will be able to conclude how the volume of ice in the glaciers is changing.

The new research was made with a NASA tool called the GLacier and Ice Surface Topography INterferometer (GLISTIN-A), which produces very precise maps of surface topography with high spatial resolution. Because the instrument is blown off on an aircraft, it can inspect far more of Greenland's coastal glaciers than have previously been studied from ground level, with far more detail than is now available in satellite observations.

In a new video, OMG primary investigator Josh Willis of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, compares pre-OMG coverage of the Jakobshavn region of Greenland with coverage obtained by GLISTIN-A this spring.

Watch the video for more: