Photo of the Week -- Ice Sculptures that Rival Skyscrapers Found Beneath Greenland Ice Sheet

by / June 17, 2014

The constant melting and re-freezing occurring in the Greenland Ice Sheet has had an unexpected effect -- blocks of ice as tall as city skyscrapers and as wide as the island of Manhattan have formed at the ice sheet's base (as shown below), a discovery researchers made using ice-penetrating radar, according to the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Image courtesy of the Earth Institute at Columbia University/Mike Wolovick.

According to the institute, these skyscraper-sized blocks are formed as water beneath the ice refreezes and warps the surrounding ice upward. The researchers estimate that they cover about one-tenth of northern Greenland, and are becoming bigger and more common as the ice sheet narrows into ice streams, or glaciers, headed for the sea.