September 02, 2002
This false-color composite image of the Lambert Glacier area in Antarctica was acquired by the Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor on December 2, 2000. The Lambert Glacier is one of the world’s largest glaciers. Note the huge icefall (near center of image) that feeds ice to the Lambert Glacier from the vast Antarctic Ice Sheet. Fissures and cracks can be seen on this icefall as it meanders on its slow-motion course and descends approximately 1300 feet (400 meters) from the polar plateau (top of image) down to the Lambert Glacier (bottom). Glacial ice appears bluish because ice crystals more effectively absorb the longer wavelengths of visible light (reds and yellows), so that only the shorter wavelenghts (blue and green) are reflected toward our eyes.