This small outlet glacier south of Jakobshavn Isbrae is moving ice from the interior of the ice sheet out to the ice sheet edge (top right), where the ice calves off into the ocean.
This relatively small outlet glacier is just one of hundreds (there are many much larger) that move ice from the interior of the Greenland ice sheet out to the ocean.
The many fast-moving outlet glaciers around the Greenland coast are constantly calving ice into the ocean, where the melting ice affects sea level.
The heavily crevassed ice on this small Greenland outlet glacier cascades down to the fjord water (bottom right), which is filled with icebergs and small bits of ice.
The heavily crevassed surface (extending to the distant horizon) of Jakobshavn Isbrae, one of Greenland's fastest outlet glaciers, is shown on this large iceberg that calved from the glacier's end.
In part because the large Jakobshavn Isbrae moves so quickly, it is difficult to tell the glacier ice (right and top) from the many icebergs it has calved off (center front) into the fjord.
Lines on this satellite image of Greenland's Helheim glacier show the positions of the glacier front between 2001 and 2005.
Glaciers Disappear in Before & After Photos
Acceleration and calving of the Columbia Glacier and other tidewater glaciers in the far north are a large reason glaciers and ice caps are contributing more to sea level rise this century than Greenland and Antarctica, says a new CU-Boulder study.
fA NASA-funded study finds that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, three times faster than that of mountain glaciers and ice caps. Here, the Store Glacier, West Greenland.
A British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Twin Otter airplane conducting a sub-ice radar survey.
As ice in Greenland melts at the surface, water carves fissures and reaches the base, where ice meets land. This sub-glacial ice can lubricate a glacier, causing it to flow to the ocean faster and be depleted more quickly than would otherwise occur.