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Ross Ice Shelf Carves B-20

B-20 from DMSP F-15 satellite - Oct 3, 2000
Suitland - October 8, 2000
A new iceberg, 345 square miles in area, has splintered away from Antarctic's Ross Ice Shelf in the Ross Sea, the National Ice Center in Suitland, Md., reports.

Iceberg B-20 was detected on September 27 using the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Optical Linescan Sensor infrared imagery. It is known to have broken away from the Ross Ice Shelf sometime between September 20 and 26. The exact date of splintering is currently unknown due to the extensive cloud cover that persisted over the southern Ross Sea.

B-20 is located in the vicinity of Latitude 77 degrees, 00 minutes south; Longitude 170 degrees, 42 minutes east, and has moved northwest since breaking away from the Ross Ice Shelf. B-20 measures 30 by 11.5 statute miles.

Iceberg names are derived from the Antarctic quadrant in which they were originally sighted. The quadrants are divided counter-clockwise in the following manner:

A = 0 to 90 degrees West longitude (Bellinghausen/Weddell Sea)
B = 90 West to 180 (Amundsen/Eastern Ross Sea)
C = 180 to 90 East (Western Ross Sea/Wilkesland)
D = 90 East to 0 (Amery/Eastern Weddell Sea)

When an iceberg is first sighted, the National Ice Center documents its point of origin. The letter of the quadrant, along with a sequential number, is assigned to the iceberg. For example, B-20 is the 20th iceberg the ice center has found in Antarctica in Quadrant B since it began monitoring in 1976.

The National Ice Center, a tri-agency operational activity with representation from the U.S. Navy, NOAA, and the U.S. Coast Guard, provides worldwide operational sea ice analyses and forecasts tailored to meet the requirements of U.S. national interests. The center tracks icebergs using remotely sensed data provided in-part by satellites operated by NOAA and the Department of Defense.

Relevant Web Sites

* An image of B-20 is available on the National Ice Center Web site * Defense Meteorological Satellite Program * Archived Satellite Images, Storm Animations and Special Events, Including Icebergs Related Links
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Three New Bergs Shave Off Ronne Ice Shelf
 Washington - May 15, 2000
Three massive icebergs have calved from the Ronne Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea, the National Ice Center in Suitland, Md., reports. The center is a tri-agency activity with representation from the U.S. Navy, NOAA, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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