Since the year 1892, the Tracy and Heilprin glaciers were under scientist’s observation. The scientists were keen on unveiling the truth behind their mysterious nature. In comparison with its adjoining glaciers, Tracy has melted at about four times faster.
After thorough research, a recent NASA study figures out why Tracy has a such a worse fate in comparison to Heilprin.
To determine the reason behind the differential melting phenomenon of Greenland’s glaciers, NASA initiated a mission named as OMG. OMG stands for Ocean Melting Greenland. The OMG was a campaign scheduled for a tenure of about five years. The campaign documented a disparity in the differential melting phenomenon of Tracy and Heilprin. Both the glaciers Tracy and Heilprin flowed in Inglefield Gulf of the northwestern region of Greenland. NASA published the OMG campaign’s findings in the journal named Oceanography. The research on glacier melting showed that Tracy and Heilprin’s similarities at the initial stage were just on the iceberg’s tips.
These two glaciers have been observed in two different retreat rates in the course of about one hundred and twenty-five years. Heilprin retreated upstream less than about 2.5 miles while Tracy retreated at less than 9.5 miles. The past studies worked out on Tracy was known as NASA’s Operation IceBridge. NASA’s Operation IceBridge involved the use of ice-penetrating radar. The radar was used for discovering the fact that Tracy is situated on bedrock at a depth of about two thousand feet below the surface of the ocean. In place of this, Heilprin extends at a depth of about one thousand and one hundred feet. It is being predicted that this difference in their depths is contributing to a higher glacier melting rate for Tracy. Tracy’s deepest glacier is the one which faces Greenland’s warm ocean currents. These warm ocean currents start from the depth of about six hundred and sixty feet below the surface of the ocean.
Josh Willis says, “Most of the melting happens as the water rises Tracy’s face. It eats away at a huge chunk of the glacier.” Josh Willis is the principal investigator of Ocean Melting Greenland.