The silt in this ice core is 2.7 million years old. Researchers think it represents an ancient, tundra-like soil buried under the Greenland ice sheet since the first glaciers formed on the island.
This tundra landscape in western Greenland may be similar to the one overrun by the Greenland Ice Sheet at Summit more than 2.7 million years ago.
End of the line
A tongue of the Greenland Ice Sheet tumbles to the sea in East Greenland near Kulusuk.
Evening in east Greenland.
Russell Glacier, a tongue of the Greenland Ice Sheet, fills a tundra valley near Kangerlussuaq.
Rock and ice
A cliff of basal, silty ice exposed on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet near Upernavik in northwest Greenland. A meltwater stream runs at the base of the cliff.
In July 2008, the Greenland Ice Sheet was rapidly melting near Kangerlussuaq, releasing large amounts of silt from the basal ice.
A cliff of basal, silty ice exposed on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet near Upernavik in northwest Greenland.
Basal ice, part of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Science camp near Kangerlussuaq overlooking the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Becky Oskin, Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.