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The "Secret Lagoon" was seen using a satellite image
The "Secret Lagoon" was seen using a satellite image




07 декабря 2023

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA has presented an infrared image of the Malaspina Glacier in Alaska, taken using the Landsat-9 satellite. Thanks to this image, scientists have discovered a "hidden lagoon" and revealed other secrets of the glacier.


As he tells it Space.com The image was presented to the general public after its color processing in the laboratory. Therefore, the glacier looks like a "psychedelic image in artificial colors" on it. The original photo of Malaspina in Alaska was taken by the Landsat-9 satellite back on October 27, 2023. This satellite is also used by the US Geological Survey.


Due to processing in the infrared spectrum, the massive ice mass looks like a fiery, pulsating drop. But it was the coloring of individual elements in different colors that helped scientists uncover several secrets of the glacier at once. By the way, it is located in Elias National Park on the southeastern coast of Alaska. The area is about 4,350 square kilometers, making it the largest glacier in North America and the world's largest foothill glacier.


In particular, the new image helped scientists find the hidden lagoon. In the picture, it is represented as a dark red section of water located between the ice and an extended stretch of land at the end of the glacier. Scientists have found out that the "secret lagoon", which is visible only from satellite, contains salt water. Moreover, it turned out to be warmer than scientists had expected, just because of the high salt content. According to experts, this factor can accelerate the melting of ice.


The researchers also found that ice channels with water pass through the bedrock under the glacier. They extend under the ice to a depth of up to 35 kilometers and can also further accelerate the retreat of the glacier from its current borders. By the way, the Seward and Agassiz glaciers are also visible in the image.




The yellow and orange colors in the picture show ice, red - water. The blue and green colors indicate areas of land and vegetation. Ripples on ice are moraines - bands consisting of soil, rocks and other material that are exposed as the ice moves slowly. Malaspina Glacier is also known as Sid Klein, which means "big glacier" in the indigenous language. By the way, a study conducted in February this year showed that the volume of Malaspina ice had previously been overestimated by about 30 percent.