Sarah Das, assistant scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics.
Supraglacial lakes, several kilometers long, form in summer from melted ice atop the Greenland Ice Sheet. (Photo by Sarah Das, WHOI)
Supraglacial lakes may concentrate water so that it causes the ice to fracture and water to be injected directly to the bed, where the ice meets the ground. Added water would reduce friction between the ice and the ground, causing the ice sheet to flow faster to the ocean. (Photo by Sarah Das, WHOI)
A view of Greenland and its ice sheet from space. If the ice sheet melted, global sea levels would rise an estimated 7 meters (23 feet).
Two glaciers that bring about 10 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ocean?the Jakobshavn Glacier on the west coast and the Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier on the east coast? have flowed two to three times faster in recent years. (Local ice caps and ice domes are shown in green. Ice-free areas are shown in dark gray).