April 8, 2014 - Iceberg from Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

Iceberg from Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

The shortening days and cooling temperatures of Antarctica’s autumn began to freeze the ice in the Amundsen Sea in late March, 2014, slowing Iceberg B31’s journey.

The roughly square-shaped iceberg calved off the Pine Island Glacier in early November, 2013 and has been drifting towards open ocean. When first calved, the size was estimated at approximately 21 miles by 12 miles (35 km by 20 km), roughly the size of Singapore, and about 50% larger than previous icebergs in this area.

On March 28, the US National Ice Center (NATICE) reported that B31 was located at 72°27'S and 107°43'W, which is only about 18 km (11 mi) from its location on March 21. With the freezing evident in this image, it is likely that Iceberg B31 will be spending the winter in this approximate location.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image on March 26, 2014 as it flew over the region. On March 14, 2014 Terra’s MODIS also captured similar true-color image of Iceberg B31 in slightly warmer seas. That image can be found as the March 22, 2014 Image of the Day: http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/individual.php?db_date=2014-03-22

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 3/26/2014
Resolutions: 1km (64.4 KB), 500m (240.4 KB), 250m (571.8 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC