Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Image of the week : ice island off Labrador

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team
at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michael Carlowicz


Nearly 11 months after calving off of the northwestern coast of Greenland, a massive ice island is now caught up in ocean currents off the coast of Labrador, Canada.

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The ice island was formed when a 251-square-kilometer (97-square-mile) chunk of ice
broke off the Petermann Glacier on August 5, 2010.
Canadian Ice Service has since been tracking the ice island, dubbed PII-A, via satellite and radio beacon.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (
MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of the ice island on June 25, 2011.
The northeast-facing coast of Labrador is mostly obscured by thin, wispy clouds, as it has been for much of the past week.
News agencies reported that the
ice island stretched roughly 62 square kilometers in area and weighed between 3.5 and 4 billion tons.
The island has been slowly breaking up and melting on its journey—nearly 30 degrees of latitude, or more than 3,000 kilometers—but it could eventually pose a hazard to offshore oil platforms and shipping lanes off Newfoundland

Canadian Port Hope Simpson resident and fishermen captured this close-up video of the ice island, off the shores of Battle Harbour, 3 miles long and 2.8 miles wide, nearly 5 times the size of Battle Island

Environment Canada dropped a beacon on PII-A on September 17, 2010.
You can track the island by clicking
Satellite images of the
area around Newfoundland are available twice daily from the MODIS Rapid Response System.

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