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Iceberg Calving Off Antarctic Ice Sheet

69.6S 4.2E

September 16th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Antarctica - August 23rd, 2009

Antarctica - August 23rd, 2009

A large iceberg breaks off the shores of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in Queen Maud Land, or Dronning Maud Land, and floats away in the Southern Ocean. Other smaller icebergs can also be seen floating between the main one and the edge of the ice sheet. Many cracks and rifts are visible in the ice sheet itself.

When a mass of ice suddenly splits off and moves away from its parent glacier, iceberg, or ice shelf in such a way, the event is called calving. Calving of ice shelves is usually preceded by a rift. This ice calving or iceberg calving is a form of ice ablation or ice disruption.

One Response to “Iceberg Calving Off Antarctic Ice Sheet”

  1. 1
    Ian Hunter:

    Iceberg C19C

    This information is incorrect. Source area ‘C’ implies 90 to 180E. C19 calved from the Ross Ice Shelf in May 2002. To have reached the position indicated on the map (flashing red dot) this 3rd segment of C19 would have done to ~ 1.5 circumnavigations of Antarctica. Recent images from both MODIS and ASAR show C19C to be still east of Greenwich. It would seem that even NIC has it too far west (~ 2E)

    I suspect the (SAR) image of C19C is quite old and WELL to the east of Dronning Maud Land ?

    This article caused great concern at our Antarctic base (SANAE IV) – they were worried that a “calving from the coast of Dronning Maud Land..” could mean that their coastal supply depot had gone AWOL !

    Best regards – Ian Hunter – South African Weather Service

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