May 15 (UPI) -- The migration of Norway's Negribreen glacier has accelerated rapidly over the last several months.
According to the latest data from European Space Agency satellites, the Arctic glacier increased its surface ice speed from 1 to 13 meters over the course of the winter.
Scientists aren't certain of the acceleration's cause, but believe the rush of surface ice to the glacier's terminus is linked with a rise in temperature at Negribreen's lowest layers.
Negribreen is located on Norway's Spitsbergen island, one of many making up the Svalbard archipelago. Aerial photographs documented a glacial surge in the 1930s, but since then, Negribreen has been slowly retreating and occasionally cleaving icebergs.
Data collected by ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites suggest the glacier has been accelerating for nearly a year.
Negribreen is one of dozens of glaciers being monitored by ESA satellites.
"Sentinel-1 provides us with a near-realtime overview of glacier flow across the Arctic, remarkably augmenting our capacity to capture the evolution of glacier surges," researcher Tazio Strozzi said in a news release. "This new information can be used to refine numerical models of glacier surging to help predict the temporal evolution of the contribution of Arctic glaciers to sea-level rise."