January 31, 2014 - Iceberg from Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

Iceberg from Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

As the Antarctic summer brings increasing sunlight and warmth to Pine Island Bay, the sea ice surrounding Iceberg B-31 continues to melt, opening clear passage to the Amundsen Sea. The giant iceberg, however, seems in no particular hurry to leave the Bay into which it was calved in November, 2013.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of slowly drifting iceberg on January 18, 2014. Compared to images captured earlier in the month, B-31 appears to have executed a quarter-turn and moved closer to the Amundsen Sea.

When Iceberg B-31 calved from the Pine Island Glacier, which can be seen as streaky-appearing ice in the lower right corner of the image, it was estimated to be about 35 km by 20 km (21 mi by 12 mi) in size – or roughly the size of Singapore. According to the National U.S. Ice Center, on January 31 the iceberg remained very close to original size, and was located at 74°12'S and 105°56'W.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 1/18/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC