Glaciers Created a Huge 'Flour' Dust Storm in Greenland

A big plume of “glacier flour” blew off of Greenland Sept. 29.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

If you remain in Greenland and a weird cloud darkens the sky, that cloud may be comprised of something researchers call “glacier flour.”

Scientists have actually composed and hypothesized about glacier-flour dust storms in Greenland for a long period of time, according to NASA However it took up until this September for detectives to find such a huge plume of the evasive dust forming and wandering 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of the far-northern town of Ittoqqortoormiit. Glacier flour is a great dust produced when glaciers crush rocks, NASA composed. While satellites had periodically spotted smaller sized storms of the things, this one was “without a doubt the biggest.”

” We have actually seen a couple of examples of little dust occasions prior to this one, however they are rather tough to find with satellites since of cloud cover,” Joanna Bullard, a teacher of physical location at Loughborough University in the UK, stated in a NASA declaration “When dust occasions do occur, field information from Iceland and West Greenland suggest that they hardly ever last longer than 2 days.” [7 Crazy Facts About Dust Storms]

The flour storm formed when a summer season floodplain in the area dried with late September’s cooler weather condition, leaving a big deposit of sediment brought south from more-northern glaciers.

NASA satellites viewed the floodplain ended up being grayer and grayer as it dried, then saw the plume kind when strong winds swept through the location on Sept. 29.

A composite image shows how the plume emerged over the course of several days.

A composite image demonstrates how the plume emerged throughout numerous days.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

According to NASA, storms like this are fascinating since scientists simply do not understand much about them or how they impact the environment. While big dust storms discovered closer to the equator have actually understood environment effects, the function of glacial flour stays a secret.

Initially released on Live Science