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Posts tagged Icebergs

Ice Rumples and Icebergs in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica

71S 26.0E

October 14th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Antarctica - August 16th, 2009

Antarctica - August 16th, 2009

This large area of rumpled, cracking ice is located on the shores of Queen Maud Land (Dronning Maud Land), part of the Norwegian Antarctic Claim.

It has a land area of approximately 2.5 million square kilometers (one million sq mi), mostly covered by the Antarctic ice sheet lying between the British claim and the Australian claim.

In this part of Queen Maud Land, many icebergs can be seen breaking off the Antarctic Ice Sheet and floating into the Antarctic Ocean.

Iceberg Calved Off Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf

79.9S 39.3W

August 29th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Antarctica - August 16th, 2009

Antarctica - August 16th, 2009

The seaward side of the Ronne-Filchner ice shelf is divided into Eastern (Filchner) and the larger Western (Ronne) sections by Berkner Island. The whole ice shelf covers some 430,000 km², making it the second largest ice shelf in Antarctica, after the Ross Ice Shelf.

It grows perpetually due to a flow of inland ice sheets. From time to time, when the shearing stresses exceed the strength of the ice, cracks form and large parts of the ice sheet separate from the ice shelf and continue as icebergs. This is known as calving.

In this image, part of the Filchner section along the ocean is visible. A large iceberg can be seen here, with many other smaller icebergs visible nearby, all on the right side of the image.

The Bering Strait between Russia and the USA

May 14th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Bering Strait - May 11th, 2009

Bering Strait - May 11th, 2009

The Bering Strait is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev in Russia‘s Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the easternmost point of the Asian continent, and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, USA, the westernmost point of the North American continent.

Here, the land on the Russian side is still mostly covered by snow, while that on the Alaskan side is beginning to thaw further inland.

The Bering Strait is approximately 53 miles (85 km) wide, with an average depth of 30–50 meters (98–160 ft). It connects the Chukchi Sea (part of the Arctic Ocean) in the north with the Bering Sea (part of the Pacific Ocean) in the south.

Icebergs from melting sea ice can be seen floating in the waters in and around the strait. With a latitude of about 65° 40′ north, the strait lies slightly south of the polar circle.

Loss of Ice from Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica

70.7S 74.9W

May 13th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 12th, 2009

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 12th, 2009

Cracks by Latady Island

Cracks by Latady Island

Since the ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf (center) to Charcot Island (upper left in the full image) broke six weeks ago, the icebergs from the desintegrated shelf have been moving further away from the Antarctic Peninsula.

The ice shelf is still connected to Latady Island (lower left),  although fractures in the area have formed and widened.

According to the European Commission, researchers predict that the northern edge of the ice shelf will continue to discharge icebergs over the coming weeks, and it is expected to lose between 570 and 3,370 square kilometres of ice. This loss might be even greater if the connection to Latady Island is broken as well.

More Icebergs Break Off Unstable Wilkins Ice Shelf

May 7th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 6th, 2009

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 6th, 2009

Wilkins Ice Shelf, one month ago - April 8th, 2009

One month ago

More and more icebergs continue to break away from the Wilkins Ice Shelf and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Fracture zones have been forming over the last fifteen years; however a bridge of ice connecting the ice shelf to Charcot Island (top left corner in both images) prevented most icebergs from breaking off completely and floating out into the open ocean.

The smaller image is from one month ago, shortly after the ice bridge (left) broke. In that image, many fractures are visible but the space between them is still rather compact.

However, in the recently captured main image, these gaps have greatly widened and the icebergs can be seen breaking off and moving away from the ice shelf, indicating its high instability. The last remnants of the ice bridge can be seen on the far left edge.