Drifting Iceberg
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Drifting Iceberg

April 9, 2014
The shortening days and cooling temperatures of Antarctica’s autumn began to freeze the ice in the Amundsen Sea in late March, 2014, slowing Iceberg B31’s journey.

The roughly square-shaped iceberg calved off the Pine Island Glacier in early November, 2013 and has been drifting towards open ocean. When first calved, the size was estimated at approximately 21 miles by 12 miles (35 km by 20 km), roughly the size of Singapore, and about 50% larger than previous icebergs in this area.

On March 28, the US National Ice Center (NATICE) reported that B31 was located at 72°27'S and 107°43'W, which is only about 18 km (11 mi) from its location on March 21. With the freezing evident in this image, it is likely that Iceberg B31 will be spending the winter in this approximate location.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image on March 26, 2014 as it flew over the region. On March 14, 2014 Terra’s MODIS also captured similar true-color image of Iceberg B31 in slightly warmer seas.

Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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