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Glacier on West Coast of Greenland

February 1st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Glacier melting on west coast of Greenland - November 30th, 2008

Glacier melting on west coast of Greenland - November 30th, 2008

Here we can see a large glacier off the western coast of Greenland, seemingly fed by three ice streams.

The largest glaciers are continental glaciers, enormous masses of ice that are not visibly affected by the landscape and that cover the entire surface beneath them, except possibly on the margins where they are thinnest.

Antarctica and Greenland are the only places where continental ice sheets currently exist. These regions contain vast quantities of fresh water.

The volume of ice is so large that if the Greenland ice sheet melted, it would cause sea levels to rise some six meters (20 ft) all around the world.

These ice sheets are further divided into sections based on characteristics. Ice shelves are areas of an ice sheet that are at the margin and are afloat. As a result they are thinner, have limited slopes and reduced velocities.

Ice streams, like the three visible in the image, are fast moving sections of an ice sheet.

source Wikipedia

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