Each spring and summer, as the air warms up and the sunlight beats down on the Greenland ice sheet, sapphire-colored ponds spring up like swimming pools. As snow and ice melt atop the glaciers, the water flows in channels and streams and collects in depressions on the surface that are sometimes visible from space. These melt ponds and lakes sometimes disappear quickly - a phenomenon that scientists have observed firsthand in recent years.
The natural-color image above was acquired on July 4, 2010, by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. This glacial ice field lies in southwestern Greenland, not far from Disko Bay (Disko Bugt in Danish) and Davis Strait. The center of the image is 68.91° North latitude and 48.54° West longitude.
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Image Credit: NASA
Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator