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Ice – Remote sensing

Advancing glaciers in North Greenland

Research areas:

Ice sheet dynamics, land-terminating ice cliffs


North Greenland

Start year:


End year:



The Government of Greenland, Pulje C

Jakob Abermann

Project leader

Approximately 45 % of the ice sheet in North and Northwest Greenland terminates as cliffs on land. These features occur where the terrain is flat, and the climate is cold and dry. In contrast to large parts of the rest of the ice sheet margin, land-terminating ice cliffs have been shown to advance, despite a negative mass balance and lowering ice surface.

The purpose of this study is to build a relevant basis for future process studies by: (I) determining the occurrence of ice cliffs in Northern Greenland, (II) classifying them by obvious morphological distinctions such as height and steepness and (III) give a first-order estimate on percentage of advancing vs retreating areas.