Greenland Ice Sheet

Meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet can travel through channels to reach bedrock; a new study shows where the water goes. Here, water plunges down a moulin, or hole in the ice. Photo: Marco Tedesco/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Radar Reveals Meltwater’s Year-Round Life Under Greenland Ice

An improved technique developed by a graduate student at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and her colleagues is making it possible to use airborne ice-penetrating radar to reveal meltwater’s life under the ice throughout the year.

by |January 5, 2017
Meltwater rivers on the greenland ice sheet. M. Tedesco/Columbia University

In Greenland, Exactly Where Meltwater Enters the Ocean Matters

In southern Greenland in summer, rivers have been streaming off the ice sheet, pouring cold fresh water into the fjords. A new study tracks where that meltwater goes—with surprising results.

by |April 25, 2016
Fishing in upernavik (Photo M. Turrin)

The Changing Upernavik Waterfront

Project Background: Changing conditions in Greenland’s northwest glaciers over the last decade have led to a range of questions about water temperature and circulation patterns in the fjords where ocean water meets the glacial fronts.

by |July 14, 2014
Devon Ice Cap Mission over northern Canada.  Notice how the propeller blade is rotated 90 degrees to the previous photo.

The Art of Flying

Flying. It is something we are almost all familiar with, and yet I expect few of us have really sat back to appreciate the actual science of it. For the past 10 weeks we have been flying, not just a day or two a week but five or six days a week depending on the… read more

by |May 30, 2012
The optical phenomenon, called a ‘glory', can develop when the plane flies directly between the sun and a cloud below.

The ‘Glory’ in Clouds and Other Amazing Sights!

If you look carefully at the picture below you will see a small shadow of our plane completely encircled in a rainbow. This optical phenomenon, called a “glory,” can develop when the plane flies directly between the sun and a cloud below. Flying over the ice sheet in the far northeast of Greenland we saw… read more

by |May 24, 2012
Our last sunrise in Kangerlussuaq – we won’t be seeing  another of these, since now we have moved up to Thule and the sun won’t set again until we return to Wallops at the end of the season.

Our Best Flight Yet

Evidence of the retreat of glaciers since the last glacial maximum (check), flying over sites of ancient Inuit, Norse and present day settlements (check), and a personal recollection of my own past in this location (check).

by |May 9, 2012
Sea Ice along Greenland's Eastern coast shows areas of thicker (white) and thinner ice (translucent) sliced through with open water leads. (photo M. Turrin)

Clues to Sea Level Rise Are Hidden In and Below Greenland’s Ice

Greenland is surrounded by a ring of high mountains that work like fingers encircling the ice to hold it in place. Ice sliding from between these “fingers” into the surrounding waters results in a major human impact – Sea Level Rise.

by |April 29, 2012
Clouds hand above the Midgard glaciers like the fire from Thor's lightening bolts. (photo B. Burton)

Midgard Glaciers hold the mark of Thor

To Norse mythology Midgard is a place that is impassable, surrounded by a world of ocean. Thor, the hammer-wielding warrior god often traveled across to Midgard, and one imagines evidence of his fiery power remains in the highly charged rocks that are left behind. Magnetized rocks containing Thor’s energy and the fiery touch of his… read more

by |April 19, 2012
East coast Greenland

Clouding our Image

Even in idyllic Greenland some days start to feel like the movie “Groundhog Day”, however the turn of events today broke that thread. Over our two weeks in Kangerlussuaq we have ended our evenings with a science and weather report, and the hope of flying the program over both coasts. Each morning we wake up,… read more

by |April 17, 2012
Geikie's pyramid carved basalt planes (photo M. Turrin)

The Sphinx of Greenland

I had been warned of Geikie. “If they fly to Geikie get on that flight” I had been told, but nothing more.

by |April 13, 2012