Researchers David and Denise Holland from New York University (NYU) and the Center for Sea Level Change at NYU Abu Dhabi, have filmed an enormous slab of ice breaking off the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland and floating into the ocean.
The fracturing event, known as calving, took 10 minutes and the researchers estimate the vertical slab was more than half a mile tall, more than twice the height of the Empire State Building.
NYUAD student Tiantian Zheng (NYUAD '18) was also with the researchers in Greenland to witness this powerful event.
The researchers employ remote sensing techniques, using both radar and seismic instruments, to collect data on calving events in order to better understand how melting glaciers contribute to rising sea levels. Researchers are hoping their observations and data set will provide insight into how and why calving occurs so that they can create new parameters to be used in climate models that includes glaciers and their calving, ultimately leading to more robust projections of sea level rise.
David Holland is Professor of Mathematics, Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU; Affiliated Faculty and Principal Investigator for the Center for Sea Level Change, NYU Abu Dhabi, and and Denise Holland is the Field and Logistics Coordinator.