Oceans Melting Greenland
Tracy and Heilprin glaciers in northwest Greenland. The two glaciers flow into a fjord that appears black in this image. Steve Dinardo, OMG Project Manager, discussing OMG project goals with members of the public at the JPL Open House in June 2018. Northwestern Greenland, taken on March 18, 2017 during the 2017 GLISTIN-A campaign. NASA's Gulfstream-III aircraft on the tarmac at Armstrong Flight Research Center with the GLISTIN-A radar instrument installed, taken on March 15, 2016. Jessica Hausman, from the Physical Oceanography DAAC, presenting initial measurements from the Bathymetry survey of Greenland's coast at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in February 2016. M/V Cape Race vessel anchored off of Greenland's northwestern coastline, taken on September 21, 2015 during Phase 2 of the Bathymetry survey. Greenland's southwestern coastline, taken on August 9, 2015 during Phase 1 of the Bathymetry survey.
OMG, the Water's Warm! NASA Study Solves Glacier Puzzle
JPL Open House

Steve Dinardo, OMG Project Manager, discussing OMG project goals with members of the public at the JPL Open House in June 2018.

2017 GLISTIN-A Campaign Gallery

Northwestern Greenland, taken on March 18, 2017 during the 2017 GLISTIN-A campaign.

2016 GLISTIN-A Campaign Gallery

NASA's Gulfstream-III aircraft on the tarmac at Armstrong Flight Research Center with the GLISTIN-A radar instrument installed, taken on March 15, 2016.

Ocean Sciences Meeting

Jessica Hausman, from the Physical Oceanography DAAC, presenting initial measurements from the Bathymetry survey of Greenland's coast at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in February 2016.

2015 Phase 2 Survey Gallery

M/V Cape Race vessel anchored off of Greenland's northwestern coastline, taken on September 21, 2015 during Phase 2 of the Bathymetry survey.

2015 Phase 1 Survey Gallery

Greenland's southwestern coastline, taken on August 9, 2015 during Phase 1 of the Bathymetry survey.


About the OMG Mission

Global sea level rise will be one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) will pave the way for improved estimates of sea level rise by addressing the question: To what extent are the oceans melting Greenland’s ice from below? Over a five-year campaign, OMG will observe changing water temperatures on the continental shelf surrounding Greenland, and how marine glaciers react to the presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water. The complicated geometry of the sea floor steers currents on the shelf and often determines whether Atlantic Water can reach into the long narrow fjords and interact with the coastal glaciers. Because knowledge of these pathways is a critical component of modeling the interaction between the oceans and ice sheet, OMG will facilitate improved measurements of the shape and depth of the sea floor in key regions as well.

Greenland Fjord Diagram

The diagram above represents a typical glacier in Greenland. Below the cold, fresh layer near the surface a layer of warm, salty water reaches into the fjords to melt the glacier's edge. OMG will measure the volume and extent of this warm layer each year and relate it to thinning and retreat of the glaciers.

OMG will use NASA’s G-III to fly the Glacier and Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN-A) in order to generate high resolution, high precision elevation measurements of Greenland’s coastal glaciers during the spring. Annual surveys by GLISTIN will measure glacier thinning and retreat over the preceding season. A second aircraft campaign, also on the NASA G-III, will be occur each year in the summer to deploy 250 expendable temperature and salinity probes along the continental shelf to measure the volume, extent, of warm, salty Atlantic Water. These data, along with fundamental new and critical observations of airborne marine gravity and ship-based observations of the sea floor geometry will provide a revolutionary data set for modeling ocean/ice interactions and lead to improved estimates of global sea level rise.

OMG Animations


Animation depicting two aircraft taking measurements of the land and the ocean.

Animation depicting an aircraft with the Glacier and Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN-A) instrument observing changes in the thickness and retreat of the glacier front as well as an aircraft deploying Airborne eXpendable Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (AXCTD) probes to measure ocean temperature and salinity on the shelf.

Animation depicting an aircraft and a ship taking measurements of the ocean.

Animation depicting a ship collecting measurements of the depth and shape of the sea floor, as well as an aircraft measuring free-air gravity with the AIRGrav instrument, which also provides information about the depth of the ocean.


Contact Information

Mission Website
http://science.nasa.gov/missions/omg/

Principal Investigator
Josh Willis
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA

Deputy Principal Investigator
Eric Rignot
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA

Project Manager
Steve Dinardo
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA

Mission Manager
Jennifer Olson
Langley Research Center (LaRC)
Hampton, VA