Alphabet Soup: Antarctic Icebergs Galore

Antarctic Icebergs February 2021 Annotated

February 12, 2021. (Click image for high-resolution view.)

The waters off of South Georgia—a remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean—have become an alphabet soup. Pieces from the once-mighty iceberg A68-A continue to fracture into more and more pieces, each one receiving its own designated letter if the new berg is large enough to be named.

When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image on February 12, 2021, there were 11 icebergs large enough to be named and tracked by the U.S. National Ice Center. Eight of the largest are labeled here; the remaining three are drifting near A-68G and A-68M.

Iceberg A-68A broke from Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf in July 2017 as a Delaware-sized block of ice, then started drifting north toward South Georgia in austral spring 2020.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.

Kathryn Hansen, NASA Earth Observatory

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