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An Explanation for the Dark Region in the Western Melt Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet : Volume 4, Issue 1 (11/02/2010)

By Wientjes, I. G. M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003989725
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 19
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: An Explanation for the Dark Region in the Western Melt Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet : Volume 4, Issue 1 (11/02/2010)  
Author: Wientjes, I. G. M.
Volume: Vol. 4, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Cryosphere, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Oerlemans, J., & M. Wientje, I. G. (2010). An Explanation for the Dark Region in the Western Melt Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet : Volume 4, Issue 1 (11/02/2010). Retrieved from

Description: Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (IMAU), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. The western part of the Greenland ice sheet contains a region that is darker than the surrounding ice. This feature has been analysed with the help of MODIS images. The dark region appears every year during the summer season and can always be found at the same location, which makes meltwater unlikely as the only source for the low albedos. Spectral information indicates that the ice in this region contains more debris than the ice closer to the margin. An ASTER image reveals wavy patterns in the darker ice. Based on these findings we conclude that ice, containing dust from colder periods, is presently outcropping near the margin, leading to albedos lower than observed for the remaining ablation area. Therefore it can be concluded that the accumulation of melt water is a result rather than a cause of the darkening.

An explanation for the dark region in the western melt zone of the Greenland ice sheet

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