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    NASA's Aerial Image Shows Stunning Sapphire Ponds

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Check out NASA's image of Greenland's sapphire pool.

    Each year, when temperatures start rising, the sun shines down on the Greenland ice sheet. The end result is gorgeous sapphire-colored ponds.

    Snow and ice melt, causing water to flow in streams and channels. The liquid then collects in depressions on the sheet’s surface creating so-called ponds and once in awhile, they can be seen from space.

    Referred to as melt ponds or lakes, they will sometimes disappear rapidly. Images from a NASA satellite shows the development of a stunning, vibrant blue pond in 2010 over three months.

    The glacial pool resided in southwestern Greenland. By early summer, the water usually collects in two depressions on the ice. By the middle of the hot season, those two ponds mold into one and turn to the bright sapphire color. The lake is also deep enough to float an ice raft.

    The flowing water from the ice sheet serves as a major interest point for scientists. A study released in 2013 determined glacial melt water from Greenland’s ice sheets contained more iron than was previously believed. Iron is an essential element for the growth of plankton – a key ocean food source.