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Posts tagged Calving

Large Iceberg Calving Off Petermann Glacier, Greenland – July 21st, 2012

80.5N 59.5W

July 21st, 2012 Category: Climate Change, Glaciers and Ice Caps, Image of the day

Calving from July 11th-18th, 2012

Petermann Glacier, Greenland

On July 16-17 2012, a 150 km2 (59 square-mile) chunk calved from the northern tip of the Petermann Glacier, a large glacier located in North-West Greenland to the east of Nares Strait. It connects the Greenland ice sheet to the Arctic Ocean.

The animated image shows the glacier before and after the large chunk calved from the end of the glacier, while the detail image contains a sequence of images showing the ice gradually calving off. The images in the sequence, from left to right, are from the 11th, 15th, 17th and 18th (last two images) of July.

Although this is not the first time a large piece of ice has calved off the glacier, nor is it the largest (in 2010 an iceberg with an area of roughly 120 sq km / 46 sq mi, or about half the size of the 2012 piece, broke off), the recent calving event has reignited concerns over climate change. While some express little concern, pointing out that the process of icebergs calving off glaciers has occurred for centuries, others worrying about global warming and say that the real issue is whether or not the frequency of calving events is changing, and why.


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.