Changes in Zachariæ Isstrøm, North East Greenland, from Landsat – 1999-2022
Recently published research on the Zachariae Isstrøm (ZI) ice sheet outlet of the North East Greenland Ice Stream has determined that this marine-terminating glacier in northeast Greenland was destabilized early this century after losing its floating ice shelf. This has resulted in glacial ice flow acceleration, and it is now contributing even more to global sea level rise. This outlet is the largest of several major submarine drainage basins in Greenland with the potential for further contributions to sea level rise greater than 0.5 m.
Landsat data collected over the past 50 years had indicated a substantial degree of stability of the floating ice in front of ZI until late 2002. Large fragments of a once more substantial ice shelf area had been held in place by a combination of sea ice, mélange, and obstructing offshore islands. However, the loss of contact between the Schnauder and the more easterly Franske Øer (islands) enabled all these ice elements to break out during August 2002. This animation details the changes annually where the ZI ice front now meets the Greenland Sea. Each image area is about 72 x 40.5 km.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center