The biggest dust storm ever seen over Greenland has been shown by a series of stunning satellite images.
The unusual event is caused by "glacial flower", a fine-grained sludge formed by glaciers that grind and pulverize rock.
Scientists have never been able to study the phenomenon in major storms until last month, when satellite images shot a storm.
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The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite from NASA and a sensor on Sentinel-2 from the European Space Agency collected images on September 29, 2018 of a sizeable silt plume flowing from the east coast of Greenland
WHAT IS GLACIAL FLOWER?
Glacial flower is a fine-grained sludge formed by glaciers that crush and crush rock.
Glacial flower is the smallest size of sediment, much smaller than sand, and is responsible for the milky, colored water in the rivers, streams and lakes that are fed by glaciers.
Because this sediment is so fine, it is easily transported through and suspended in water.
In this case, NASA says that the glacial meal is probably made by several glaciers further up the valley and then transported to the south by meltwater flows and deposited in the floodplains.
& # 39; This is by far the biggest event that is spotted and reported by satellites that I know, & # 39; said Santiago Gassó, an atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
He saw the storm for the first time on 3 October.
& # 39; We've seen a few examples of small dust events for this, but they're pretty hard to spot with satellites because of clouds, & # 39; said Joanna Bullard of Loughborough University.
& # 39; When dust events occur, field data from Iceland and West Greenland indicate that they rarely last longer than two days. & # 39;
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite from NASA and a sensor on Sentinel-2 from the European Space Agency gathered the first images of the storm on September 29, 2018, showing a significant amount of silt plumes from the east coast from Greenland.
The source was a braided river valley about 130 kilometers northwest of Ittoqqoomoomiit, a village at a latitude of 73 degrees north.
That puts the village north of the north coast of Alaska.
The series Landsat and Sentinel 2 images show the floodplain where the stream Scoresby Sound flows.
When the soil dried up on the floodplains, the floodplain became increasingly gray.
Northwest winds on September 29 were strong enough to bring glacier dust into the air.
The series of Landsat and Sentinel 2 images recorded above and below on 21, 23, 29 and 30 September shows the flood plain where the stream of Scoresby Sound flows. When the soil on the floodplains was dry (first two images), the floodplains became increasingly gray. Northwest winds on September 29 were strong enough to bring glacier dust into the air.
The glacier meal was probably made by several glaciers further down the valley, then transported to the south by meltwater flows and deposited in the floodplains.
When the current levels fell in the autumn, the river plain dried out and became sensitive to the wind.
In this case Bullard noted that the wind was activated by the combination of a low pressure system that passed the Greenland ice sheet, followed by a high pressure comb.
Because dust events with high widths are poorly understood, they are usually not included in atmospheric and climate models.
Gasso hopes that they will eventually be included because they can have effects on the air quality, the reflectivity of snow and even the marine biology.