Blue Pools on Greenland Ice

Blue Pools on Greenland Ice

Every summer, meltwater ponds dot the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet, which also gets covered in darker material (dust and smoke particles advected from the North American mainland, mainly).  The water, cold and pure and as it should, refracts out all but blue wavelengths preferentially, reflects that blue light off the ice bottoms of these ephemeral lakes, then filters the light spectrum the same way back upward again.  The result is a series of strikingly blue splotches and threads across the  surface where the water resides and flows.  Cloud shadows accentuate the texture of the scene.  As a geography buff with strong interests in geology and hydrology, it was a passive but palpable thrill to finally have the opportunity to see Greenlandthe middle of which I was content to see from the comfort of a “climate-controlled” cabin 35,000 feet aloft, as opposed to spending any more than brief time on the ice itself should the opportunity ever arise.

over Greenland (26 Aug 14) Looking N

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