Rift on Pine Island Glacier

Rift on Pine Island Glacier
  • Credit:

    NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.

A new iceberg calved from Pine Island Glacier—one of the main outlets where ice from the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet flows into the ocean.

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this natural-color image on September 21, 2017, just before the break. A rift is clearly visible across the center of the glacier’s floating ice shelf.

The break ultimately produced iceberg B-44, visible in radar imagery captured September 23 with the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite. The new berg, afloat in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, has an area of about 185 square kilometers (72 square miles). That’s larger than the pieces that broke away in January 2017, but smaller than the 583-square-kilometer (225-square-mile) berg that was spawned in July 2015.

Images & Animations

File

File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 6400x6400
  • JPEG 4 MB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.

Metadata

  • Data Date:

    September 21, 2017
  • Visualization Date:

    September 26, 2017
  • Sensor(s):

    Landsat 8 - OLI

Categories

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration