Earth from Space: Malaspina Glacier

The Copercnius satellite Sentinel-2A captured a beautiful piece of land and coast over the southeastern Alaska to the Malaspina Glacier on 8 March 2016.

During the Ice Age, a vast ice sheet covered this spot, making it the area of the longest and most spectacular glaciers in the world. When temperatures rose, an interglacial period began. Nowadays, satellite data show that the elevation of Malaspina has dropped over the past decades, and this ice loss has made a significant contribution to sea-level rise.

The red colour in the false-colour image reflects vegetated areas, purple shows rock, whereas the wavy purple lines around the lower half of the glacier are rock, soil and other debris that have been deposited by the glacier – called moraines.

Sentinel-2A is a high-resolution optical mission, providing monitoring data on vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas. The satellite was launched into Space on 22 June 2015.