Ice Stories
Exploratorium Home

At the Lakes on the Ice Sheet

ILULISSAT, GREENLAND– (By Mary Miller and Lisa Strong-Aufhauser) In this video, we are alone at a science camp where ice cracks can suddenly appear and drain vast lakes in less than an hour. Check out the expedition page for interviews with scientists Sarah Das and Ian Joughin who study lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Tags: , ,

4 Responses »

  1. Oh my goodness! Glad I watched the other dispatches first and know that you are safe! Eerie sensation being alone out there.

  2. I cannot imagine being out there alone and hearing the cracking noises and knowing what they are. I was wondering that if the ice were to start cracking directly beneath you, how much of a warning would you have and would it be sufficient enough to escape?

  3. Cousin Lisa, I am so glad that you have these awesome adventures. Being alone on a frozen lake, I hope that you are always able to retreat to safety. Keep safe and I will keep reading.

  4. Hey Pep –

    In fact, we weren’t on a frozen lake. We were standing on the ice sheet – a much more massive entity than a frozen lake. The lake that these scientists were studying was, in fact, liquid water that had pooled on top of the ice sheet. It drained while they were in camp beside it. They think it was the weight of the water that helped pry the cracks open, and believe the water went rushing down to the very base of the ice sheet. I didn’t think any cracks were going to open up and swallow us…pretty much. It was kind of freaky though, especially when Mary and I were out there all alone.