Petermann Ice Island in Nares Strait

Petermann Ice Island in Nares Strait

In mid-July 2012, a massive iceberg calved off the Petermann Glacier of northwestern Greenland. Named PII-2012, the ice island drifted slowly away from the glacier and into Nares Strait. Still intact on August 31, the iceberg had started to fragment by September 4.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on September 13, 2012. It shows the main iceberg and two smaller fragments drifting through Nares Strait between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. The fragments apparently broke off the side of the iceberg that was originally positioned upstream on the glacier. This iceberg calved along a rift on the Petermann Glacier that had been visible in satellite imagery for several years.

  1. References

  2. Canadian Ice Service. (2012, August 15) Petermann ice island updates. Environment Canada. Accessed September 17, 2012.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    September 13, 2012
  • Visualization Date:

    September 17, 2012
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration