Scientists don't know what caused a crack in this Greenland glacier

There's a huge crack in one of Greenland's biggest glaciers, and NASA just took the first photos of it.

Scientists noticed the rift while looking at satellite images. Normally, cracks in a glacier wouldn't be much cause for concern, but this one's location is troubling.

The split opened in the center of the glacier's ice shelf rather than at the edge of the glacier where cracks usually start — and scientists don't really know how it formed.

SEE MORE: An Iceberg The Size Of Delaware Is Ready To Break Off Antarctica

Plus, the new rift is on track to merge with a preexisting crack that started on the glacier's flank. If that happens, it could lead to a massive break in the glacier, which could cause a rise in global sea levels.

The two rifts haven't changed much recently, but warm summer temperatures could change that.

8 PHOTOS
Greenland glacier
See Gallery
Greenland glacier
A glacier terminating in sea ice is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft along the Upper Baffin Bay coast on March 27, 2017 above Greenland. Greenland's ice sheet is retreating due to warming temperatures.
Glacier de France emptying into the Denmark Strait, Greenland, is seen in a photo taken during NASA's Operation IceBridge Helheim-Kangerdlugssuap Gap B mission May 17, 2016. 
A view along the Nordenskjold Glacier in East Greenland is seen during a NASA Operation IceBridge survey flight over Greenland April 5, 2014.
A glacier is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft along the Upper Baffin Bay coast on March 27, 2017 above Greenland. Greenland's ice sheet is retreating due to warming temperatures.
A section of glacier is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft along the Upper Baffin Bay coast on March 27, 2017 above Greenland. Greenland's ice sheet is retreating due to warming temperatures.
Crevasses in a glacier are seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft along the Upper Baffin Bay coast on March 27, 2017 above Greenland. Greenland's ice sheet is retreating due to warming temperatures. 
A glacier is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft along the Upper Baffin Bay coast on March 27, 2017 above Greenland.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.