Pine Island Glacier Calves Again

An image captured earlier this morning by the Sentinel 1A satellite’s synthetic aperture radar reveals that another huge chunk of the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica has broken loose:

S1A_PIG_20170923T035511

P.S. Here’s an animation of the calving courtesy of Wipneus:

Pine_Island_Glacier_Sentinel_1A_20170911-20170923

Via Stef Lhermitte on Twitter:

 

[Edit – September 24th]

The latest image from Sentinel 1A:

S1A_IPIG_20170924T043546

Click it for a much closer look.

 

[Edit – October 16th]

Another animation from Wipneus, showing the recently calved section of the Pine Island Glacier coming apart at the seams:

Pine_Island_Glacier_Sentinel_Calving_Crumbles_1A_20171003-20171015

 

[Edit – December 11th]

Another revealing image from Wipneus via the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:

Pine-Island-Glacier-SW-crack-Landsat8-nat-30m-20171210

New cracks are opening on the Pine Island Ice Shelf.

 

[Edit – December 22nd]

Via Susan Anderson at the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:

Pine Island Iceberg Under the Midnight Sun
Pine Island Iceberg Under the Midnight Sun

In September 2017, a new iceberg calved from Pine Island Glacier—one of the main outlets where the West Antarctic Ice Sheet flows into the ocean. Just weeks later, the berg named B-44 shattered into more than 20 fragments.

On December 15, 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this natural-color image of the broken berg. An area of relatively warm water, known as a polyna, has kept the water ice free between the iceberg chunks and the glacier front. NASA glaciologist Chris Shuman thinks the polynya’s warm water could have caused the rapid breakup of B-44.

The image was acquired near midnight local time. Based on parameters including the azimuth of the Sun and its elevation above the horizon, as well as the length of the shadows, Shuman has estimated that the iceberg rises about 49 meters above the water line. That would put the total thickness of the berg—above and below the water surface—at about 315 meters.

 

[Edit – December 23rd]

Another graphic Landsat PIG GIF from Wipneus on the ASIF:

Pine-Island-Glacier_SW-crack_growing_landsat-8_20171219

11 thoughts on “Pine Island Glacier Calves Again

  1. The ready splintering of the PigBerg could be an indication of the fragility of the glacier stream adjacent to the grid break up area?

  2. Obviously as it fractures it will melt quicker….what is the projected direction of movement into the Arctic Ocean and how will it disturb the circular ocean current

      1. My guess is it won’t disturb the current one bit!

        The only way you could say it disturbs the current is if the air above it is disturbed!

        Otherwise I say it will prove to have next to, if not exactly, nil effect on the current!

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