Icebergs and Sea Ice Near the Amery Ice Shelf
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Icebergs and Sea Ice Near the Amery Ice Shelf

February 6, 2009
This image, captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on January 31, 2009, shows a portion of eastern Antarctica. When you view this image, imagine the standard view of Antarctica is rotated to the left so that its eastern coast is at the top of the image.

The section of coastline has some interesting features. Starting from the left side of the image is a jutting piece of land called the Bjerko Peninsula. To its right is MacKenzie Bay. This bay abuts the the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amery Ice Shelf is almost like a triangular wedge that appears as if it were filling in one of the crevices in Antarctica's coastline. You can see its shape on this map. There are a few small islands locked in Amery's ice. In today's image, we are only seeing the mouth of that crevice, and thus only a portion of the ice shelf. The contrast makes it a bit difficult to distinguish the shelf from the land on either side of it, but this great series of labeled maps of ice shelves is very helpful in this regard. The other larger bay on the other side of the Amery Ice Shelf is Prydz Bay. Continuing to the right, we see the large West Ice Shelf protruding from the coastline. You can see it outlined more clearly on the labeled ice shelf map.

In the black waters of the Indian Ocean there are solitary icebergs, as well as a great deal of sea ice.

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