not so green

aerial photos of greenland and beyond

Iceland and Greenland glaciers

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The Skeiðarárjökull, the largest branch of Iceland's Vatnajökull icecap

This impressive series of images from Flickr user slackeratslack shows the glaciers of both Iceland and Greenland. The first shot shows the Skeiðarárjökull glacier, which flows from the southwestern portion of Iceland's Vatnajökull icecap. Vatnajökull is Iceland's largest icecap, and covers about 8% of the country. Under the icecap are several volcanos, whose periodic eruption melts the lower portions of the icecap and can cause catastrophic flooding in the areas below the glaciers. The glaciers of Vatnajökull carry large amounts of black lava gravel and dust, which becomes exposed as ice melts on the surface of the glacier. This can be clearly seen in the photograph here as many black streaks and bands in the glacier, particularly toward the terminus of the glacier at the bottom of the photo.


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The terminus of the Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier in East Greenland

This photo shows the terminus of the Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier in East Greenland, where it flows into the Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord, producing thousands of tons of icebergs every day. The glacier enters the photo at left, and only a small triangular portion of the glacier is visible. In the foreground, another, smaller glacier flows from bottom to top into the same fjord. The Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier is one of the largest in Greenland, and one of the fastest moving. It is also retreating rapidly, as are many glaciers in Greenland (see details in this BBC article, which says that the glacier flows at a rate of 14 km per year, which is about 125 feet, or 40 meters, per day). When compared to the adjacent Google Earth image, the retreat of the glacier is clear. The terminus of the glacier has retreated about three miles in the period between the Google satellite photograph and the picture here, which was taken in October of 2005.


Other shots from this series, taken the same day as the photo above. Click the photo to go to the Flickr photo page, or the Google Earth icon to view the photo in Google Earth.

Photos taken: October 9, 2005

Photos by: slackeratslack

Route: London Heathrow to San Francisco

Not so green showcases aerial photographs from Greenland and from around the world taken by Flickr users, and locates each image on a map using Google Maps and Google Earth. More details.

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