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In Photos: Greenland's Ancient Landscape

Deep ice

GISP2 ice core

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

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.

Greenland tundra

Greenland tundra

(Image credit: Josh Brown, University of Vermont)

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

Greenland fjord

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

A tongue of the Greenland Ice Sheet tumbles to the sea in East Greenland near Kulusuk.

Stunning scenery

Greenland fjord

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

Evening in east Greenland.

Russell Glacier

Greenland glacier

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

Russell Glacier, a tongue of the Greenland Ice Sheet, fills a tundra valley near Kangerlussuaq.

Rock and ice

Greenland glacier

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

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.

Summer melting

Greenland glacier

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

In July 2008, the Greenland Ice Sheet was rapidly melting near Kangerlussuaq, releasing large amounts of silt from the basal ice.

Silty ice

Greenland glacier

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

A cliff of basal, silty ice exposed on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet near Upernavik in northwest Greenland.

Goal ahead

Greenland glacier

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

Basal ice, part of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Cold camp

Greenland glacier

(Image credit: Paul Bierman, University of Vermont)

Science camp near Kangerlussuaq overlooking the Greenland Ice Sheet.