Landsat Missions

Landsat 8 Tracks the Velocity of Glaciers and Ice Sheets in Near Real-Time

Glacier movement is not always easy to predict. However, new remote sensing capabilities are making it easier to map the speed and movement patterns of flowing ice in Greenland, Antarctica, and global mountain ranges.

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Scientists from the NASA-funded Global Land Ice Velocity Extraction project (GoLIVE) are using remote sensing data collected by Landsat 8 to view every large glacier and ice sheet on Earth in near real-time. By integrating atmospheric and oceanic information, researchers can better understand what causes these ice sheets to change.

Image: Sheridan Glacier from the Air

Sheridan glacier and Sheridan river from the air, rich in fine glacial flour.

Landsat 8 collects over 700 images a day and covers Earth's entire surface every 16 days. This volume of data helps researchers to generate these global maps and will be invaluable for global ice monitoring in the future. With the help of Landsat 9, scheduled for launch in 2020, this initiative will continue for years to come.

 

View NASA's Video: Landsat's Global View of Ice Velocity

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