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Operation IceBridge Survey: Beautiful Saunders Island - April 27, 2013

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posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 05:20 PM

Seeing this single image, I knew I had to share it with all of you ATS'ers.

There is no doubt that this is one great photo, giving perspective on the island and it's surrounding area.

At first glance, I thought it was a snow covered iceberg - with no soil beneath, only more ice. Then I looked at the edges, noticed the rocky cliffs, and realized what I was actually seeing.

I don't know much about the island, since this is my first 'run-in' with it, so I will quote some external content from various sources.

Hope you like this short read!


This image of Saunders Island and Wolstenholme Fjord with Kap Atholl in the background was taken during an Operation IceBridge survey flight in April, 2013. Sea ice coverage in the fjord ranges from thicker, white ice seen in the background, to thinner grease ice and leads showing open ocean water in the foreground.

In March 2013, NASA's Operation IceBridge scientists began another season of research activity over Arctic ice sheets and sea ice. IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission, is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.

Image Credit: NASA / Michael Studinger


You might think that this is a wonderful image of glaciated terrain. Think again. It's an image of an island in close proximity to the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and indeed there are huge outlet glaciers draining into Wolstenholme Fjord -- but this island bears precious little evidence of glaciation. If you look carefully you can see that the snow cover is just a seasonal one-- much of it less than a metre thick. This is an ice-free island. If you want to see what it looks like in the summer, use Google Earth. Look too at the valleys -- these are fluvial valleys, with typical V-shaped cross profiles as distinct from the U-shaped cross profiles typical of glacial troughs. This is essentially a piece of an ancient river-eroded plateau bounded by steep coastal cliffs.

The feature in the foreground is a raised marine foreland at the NE tip of the island -- you can see the steps caused by intermittent isostatic uplift since the end of the Devensian glacial stage. I'm not sure how high the raised marine limit is in this area -- but it is probably well over 100m above present sea-level. Back in 1962 I studied similar features in a raised delta in Kjove Land, East Greenland.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 10:18 PM
reply to post by esteay812

It looks like a cookie with icing, doesn't it? I have been staring at it for few minutes. I am no photographer so perhaps you'll understand when I say I can't help but think that it looks like a cut-out affixed to the background, especially as that funny jutting-out angle at the bottom of the island doesn't seem to merge with the water area in any way. Stunning daylight though, especially as it's mostly white.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 08:42 PM
reply to post by aboutface

Sorry for the delayed reply!

I understand what you mean. I considered the tricks we can play on the mind using optical illussions, then applied some of them to the 1st pic. I was amazed to realize just how many different perspectives this one image can produce.

It reminded me of the simple geometric illusion of the cube. You can look at the cube many different ways. One panel may appear as the top of the cube, while another represents the back. Looking through a different perspective what appeared to be the top is now the bottom.

The image illusion isn't that simple, but the water can look like solid ground and that gives a strange view of the image.

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