Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




EARTH OBSERVATION
Iceberg Collides With The Edge Of An Ice Shelf In The Antarctic
by Staff Writers
Bonn, Germany (SPX) Mar 03, 2010


Like a needle of ice and snow, the iceberg B-15K was caught in the act by the German Aerospace Center's (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite as it collided with an ice shelf. Scientists had long been watching as the 54-kilometre long and 5-kilometre wide iceberg was being driven around Antarctica by ocean currents. Then, on 11 February 2010, it crashed into the edge of the ice shelf in Atka Bay. Credit: DLR.

Looking like a needle of ice and snow, iceberg B-15K was caught in the act by the German Aerospace Center's (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite as it collided with an ice shelf in Atka Bay, Antarctica.

Scientists had long been observing as the 54-kilometre long and 5-kilometre wide iceberg was driven around Antarctica by ocean currents. Then, on 11 February 2010, it crashed into the edge of the ice shelf in Atka Bay.

A 300 by 700 metre piece broke off from the several-hundred-metre thick Ekstrom Ice Shelf, decreasing its size by 210,000 square metres. Three strong signals were recorded at the acoustic observatory of the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), situated on the surface of the ice.

Five kilometres south of the edge of the shelf, a one-kilometre long crack formed straight across the transport routes. For scientists in the acoustic observatory and at the AWI's Neumayer station III, which lies 21 kilometres away, this means that the marked routes, that were accessible even during snowstorms, need to be shifted.

Searching for cracks
The events that have caused an inconvenience for the scientists on location are of very special interest to glaciologists such as Angelika Humbert from KlimaCampus at the University of Hamburg. "It is so very exciting to see how the cracks develop." Collisions such as this, between an iceberg and the edge of the ice shelf, do not occur very often.

"Usually, the icebergs continuously run aground on their way from the Ross Ice Shelf around the Antarctic and become smaller in the process."

The solid ice cover in front of the edge of the ice shelf also usually acts as a buffer and the icebergs pass by. However, B15-K arrived in front of the German station in Atka Bay with an imposing size and a weight of around 400 million tons. The supply ship SA Agulhas left the bay after receiving a timely warning. Two weeks before this incident, the MV Mary Arctica was stationed at the edge of the ice shelf, beside an ice finger known as the 'North Pier', delivering fuel to the Neumayer station.

Using the high-resolution images from TerraSAR-X, Angelika Humbert wants to investigate several details, including what actually happens within the ice during a collision of this size.

"It is interesting why only a relatively small piece broke off. How did the compression waves spread out within the ice? What type of energy was transferred from the ice?" This well-documented collision can shed light on the dynamics and stability of the ice for this 'ice scientist'.

"The pictures from TerraSAR-X always show a lot of detail." The satellite maps the data with a resolution down to one metre. Even when the sky is cloudy, it records X-band radar data from the entire surface of Earth during its flight. For Angelika Humbert, observing Antarctica continues to be fascinating - there are currently two more large icebergs in the Circumpolar Current around the ice shelf.

.


Related Links
DLR
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARTH OBSERVATION
Google launches 'Street View' charm offensive
Hanover, Germany (AFP) March 2, 2010
US Internet giant Google launched on Tuesday a charm offensive for its "Street View" navigation service, aiming to soothe the privacy doubts of a sceptical German public. Attending the CeBIT high-tech fair, the world's biggest, for the first time, Google showcased three of their "Street View" cars - sleek, black Opels with eight mounted cameras to take pictures of streets, buildings and cit ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
NASA radar finds ice on moon's north pole

NASA Radar Finds Ice Deposits At Moon's North Pole

Into A Volcano To Test Suitcase-Sized Science Lab

US lunar pull-out leaves China shooting for moon

EARTH OBSERVATION
A Glow In The Martian Night

Mars Odyssey Still Hears Nothing From Phoenix

Investigating Material Ejected From Young Crater

Spirit In Energy Saving Mode

EARTH OBSERVATION
LockMart Orion Team Fabricates World's Largest Heat Shield Structure

NASA Increases Support Contract To Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights Of Discovery

SwRI Announces Pioneering Program To Fly Next-Gen Suborbital Experiments With Crew

EARTH OBSERVATION
UK's First China Space Race Exhibition Launched

No Spacewalk From Tiangong-1

China's Mystery Spacelab

China launches orbiter for navigation system: state media

EARTH OBSERVATION
Space agencies find new use for 'Leonardo'

Endeavour Home After Completing A Special Delivery To ISS

Endeavour Crew Delivered Last Major US Portion Of ISS

Endeavour astronauts prepare to unveil room with cosmic view

EARTH OBSERVATION
Arianespace At World Satellite Risk Forum 2010

Student Rocket REXUS 7 Launched

OHO-1 Satellite To Be Launched By Arianespace

Eutelsat's W3B On Fast Track For Ariane 5 Launch

EARTH OBSERVATION
How To Hunt For Exoplanets

Watching A Planetary Death March

Seeing ExoPlanet Atmospheres From The Ground

New Technique For Detecting Earth-Like Planets

EARTH OBSERVATION
Rice Researchers Make Graphene Hybrid

SES WORLD SKIES To Host Extensive 3D TV Tests

Satellites, Rockets And More

Teens glued to TV, games screens less close to family: study




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement