These steamers rising from an ice crack near Kulusuk, Greenland are a sign of geothermal heat under the glacier.
This is the first time such steam coming from below has been reported. There’s something going on there. We just do not know what it is. It’s heat from BELOW!
The picture was taken by pilot Ágúst Arnbjörnsson on July 11, 2017 during a flight from Reykjavík to Portland from a height of approximately 34,000 feet (10.4km). So the plumes of heat coming from below the ice are pretty large!
The pilots first thought it could be a plane that crashed because there were craters from where the smoke was coming out.
Then the pilot encouraged other pilots to survey the area. One of them came everyday during 5 days. The strange steam phenomenon was still going on.
The heat phenomenon has not been investigated yet. Nobody was able to get to the exact location of the mysterious steam approximately 75 km from Kulusuk.
Explanations for the mysterious steamers
There are two explanations for explaining this heat anomaly:
(1) There may be a potential geothermal source at the bottom of the glacier. If this is true, the source of heat has to be powerful to bring steam up there since the ice is 2km thick at this place.
(2) The plumes may be triggered by massive waterfalls that fall down the cracks and into the glacier due to glacier melting. It seems that sometimes these giant falls can measure up to 2 miles long. But according to a scientist this explanation is not plausible since there are no small waterfalls in the area.
So the most credible explacation for this mysterious steam is geothermal energy. It is found along the coasts of Greenland and an international team of scientists claimed that Earth’s internal heat enhances rapid ice flow and subglacial melting in Greenland.