A Tour of the Antarctic Cryosphere • Earth.com

A tour of the Antarctic cryosphere, including this look at a steep valley on the Antarctic Peninsula. We descended into a steep valley that was filled with ice flowing into the remnants of the former Larsen B Ice Shelf that broke apart a few years ago. Therefore ice that’s flowing down through the valleys is pushing the ice in the ice shelves away and eventually huge chunks of ice break off and form icebergs. On the ice shelf the ice goes afloat and forms huge flat surfaces that seem to be endless. Beneath the ice is ocean water.

NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission comprises the largest airborne research campaign ever flown over Earth’s polar region. Also the mission is designed to continue critical ice sheet measurements in a period between active satellite missions. Also help scientists understand how much the major ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica could contribute to sea level rise.

This image was taken during the IceBridge Antarctic 2009 field campaign. Credit: NASA/Michael Studinger

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