Surface lake drainage on the Greenland ice sheet could cause it to slip into the ocean more quickly, according to a recent study by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder. Typically, when water from the ice sheet melts, it flows into lakes, expanding the size of the lake. However, if water pressure increases enough, ice beneath the lake cracks, releasing water that coats the bottom of the ice sheet that is up against rock. The slick surface causes the ice to slip away from the rock, increasing sea levels and endangering coastal communities.
Lakes could alternatively drain water into the ocean, depending on the path the water takes. CU-Boulder researchers developed technology able to recognize and monitor surface lakes with 99 percent accuracy which will be used to research lake drainage effects on sea level.
Read more at CU Boulder news.