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Iceberg Alley
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Iceberg Alley

May 21, 2011
A large chunk of the massive iceberg (center) that broke off Greenland's Petermann Glacier in August 2010 is featured floating in the Labrador Sea off the eastern coast of Labrador in this Envisat image.

Envisat observed the calving event last year that gave birth to an iceberg that covered an area of around 245 sq km and measured about 30 km long and 15 km wide at its foot and almost 7 km wide at its head, making it the largest iceberg in the northern hemisphere.

Since then, the large iceberg has broken into several smaller pieces. The piece featured here, named PIIA, is about 12 km long and 6 km wide and covers an area of around 72 sq km.

More than 1000 icebergs flow off southern Labrador and northern Newfoundland from late May to late June, earning the area the nickname 'Iceberg Alley'.

Ice floes (top) are visible drifting southwards in the sea. White swirls indicate drift of the small pieces of ice in response to ocean vortexes, or 'eddies', and are an expression of the ocean surface currents.

Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer acquired this image on 4 May at a resolution of 300 m.


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