Breidamerkurjökull Ice Cap
April 19, 2001
Satellite remote sensing technology enables changes in the area of ice caps to be measured and monitored. The above Landsat image pair gives a close-in view of a portion of the Breidamerkurjökull Ice Cap and shows the changes over a three-year time period, between 1997 (left image - taken with Landsat 5 on August 13, 1997) and 2000 (right image - taken with Landsat 7 on September 23, 2000). The endpoint, or terminus, of the glacier shows the most obvious change. From 1997-2000, the glacier has been shrinking. You can see the creation of icebergs in the lake in front of the glacier. In these scenes, bare glacier ice surfaces appear bluish-white, while those covered with snow are a brighter white. Water surfaces are dark blue and land surfaces appear reddish. Since Landsat first imaged this area in 1973, there has been about a two kilometer (1.2 mile) recession of the Breidamerkurjökull ice cap.