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Icebergs off the Antarctic Coast

Icebergs off the Antarctic Coast

Two massive icebergs drifted along the coast of East Antarctica in early March 2010. In mid-February 2010, the Rhode Island-sized Iceberg B-09B collided with the protruding Mertz Glacier Tongue along the George V Coast. The Mertz Glacier was already in the process of calving an iceberg when the arrival of the B-09B accelerated the process, leaving two icebergs the size of small states off this part of Antarctica’s coast.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Iceberg B-09B and the newly created iceberg off the Mertz Glacier. Between each iceberg and the coast floats a mélange of smaller pieces of ice. Farther out to sea, delicate white swirls indicate a relatively thin layer of sea ice. Occasional clouds floating overhead cast shadows on the ice surfaces below.

NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.