Located on the west coast of Greenland, 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Ilulissat Icefjord (40,240 hectares) is the sea mouth of Sermeq Kujalleq, one of the few glaciers through which the Greenland ice cap reaches the sea. It is one of the fastest moving (19 metres per day) and most active glaciers in the world. It annually calves over 35 cubic kilometres of ice, or 10 percent of all Greenland calf ice and more than any other glacier outside Antarctica. It has been studied for over 250 years, thereby helping to develop our understanding of climate change and ice cap glaciology. The small city of Jakobshavn and its airport can be seen at the right, near the glacier's tongue. To make it easier to distinguish land cover, this false-colour image uses the near infrared part of the spectrum, which is invisible to the human eye. In such an image, vegetation glows red, while open water is dark.
The image was taken on 7 July 2001 by the satellite Landsat-7 / ETM+ and has a resolution of 15 metres. It covers an area of 90 by 180 kilometres.
Credit: GLCF / DLR.