Antarctica 02/07/05

MODIS image of Antarctica

MODIS true color image (bands 1, 4, 3) of Antarctica, 7 February 2005.

In early January 2005, it appeared that the B-15A iceberg was on a collision course with the Drygalski Ice Tongue, the floating portion of a glacier flowing off the Scott Coast of Antarctica and into the Ross Sea. Scientists and amateur Earth-observers checked satellite images of the region each day to monitor the northward march of the berg and to witness the impacts. Would it be just a fender bender, or would the ice tongue shatter under the impact of the oncoming berg?

However, in mid- to late January, the berg's forward progress appeared to have literally ground to a halt on the floor of the shallow coastal water, having come within just a few kilometers of collision with Drygalski. This image, acquired by the Terra MODIS instrument on February 7, 2005, shows just how close the two icy giants came to each other. The Drygalski Ice Tongue points eastward from the upper left portion of the scene, while the B-15A iceberg lies at a southeastern diagonal at image center. Between these two and the coast is a field of trapped sea ice that under normal circumstances would have broken up and drifted off to melt in the Ross Sea at upper right.

Text and image courtesy of NASA's MODIS Land Rapid Response Team.