Long connected to Greenland's coast by ice, this tiny island escaped recognition for what it was for nearly a century. The island was only identified in September 2005, by Dennis Schmitt, an explorer from Berkeley, Calif. Melting ice enabled Schmitt to detect the island while flying over northwestern Greenland.
This series of images shows observations of the newly discovered island taken by NASA Landsat satellites. Landsat 5 acquired the top image on Aug. 11, 1985. Landsat 7 acquired the middle image on Sept. 5, 2002, and the bottom image on Sept. 4, 2005, the same month that Schmitt detected the island in his flyover. In the 1985 image, ice hugged the northern edge of the island and extended well to the north. In the 2002 image, the ice had retreated substantially, just a few remnants remaining in the southeast. The 2005 image showed something new: a strait between the claw-shaped island and mainland Greenland, confirming Schmitt’s discovery.
Source: NASA's Earth Observatory website. Click here for full story.
Credit: NASA's Earth Observatory web site