B17B iceberg slowly breaking up

Satellite image of B17B. Taken 11 December 2009.
Satellite image of B17B. Taken 11 December 2009. (Photo: Courtesy of gsfc)
Satellite image of B17B. Taken 13 December 2009.Satellite image of B17B. Taken 31 December 2009.

14 December 2009

The giant iceberg, known as B17B, is gradually breaking up as it drifts north and east from Antarctica towards Australia.

The total area of B17B has now reduced from 140 square kilometres last week to 115 currently, making the iceberg approximately 18km long by 8 km wide.

Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, Dr Neal Young, has been tracking the iceberg’s progress using satellite images from NASA and the European Space Agency.

“The iceberg is now at 49.6 degrees S and 108.9 degrees E, so it’s actually moving in a more easterly direction now in line with the currents in the ocean to the south of Australia,” Dr Young said.

“There are now many more smaller icebergs calving off B17B, measuring up to several kilometres in length, and spread over more than a thousand kilometres of ocean” he said.

The iceberg is expected to continue tracking in a more easterly direction.

More information