Iceberg A-68C Calves from A-68A

By LT Bryan R. Brasher, NOAA
U.S. National Ice Center
April 24, 2020

Suitland, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has confirmed that a new iceberg calved from parent iceberg A-68A, currently the world’s largest iceberg. The new iceberg A-68C is the second to calve from A-68 and measures 11 nautical miles on its longest axis and 7 nautical miles on its widest axis with an area of approximately 51 square nautical miles. A-68C is located at 60°25' South, 51°06' West at the edge of the Weddell Sea and South Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of the South Orkney Islands on the Antarctic Peninsula. A-68C was first spotted by Jan Lieser of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and confirmed by USNIC Master Ice Analyst Christopher Readinger.

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 = 0-90W (Bellingshausen/Weddell Sea)
B = 90W-180 (Amundsen/Eastern Ross Sea)
C = 180-90E (Western Ross Sea/Wilkesland)
D = 90E-0 (Amery/Eastern Weddell Sea)

When first sighted, an iceberg’s point of origin is documented by the USNIC. The letter of the quadrant, along with a sequential number, is assigned to the iceberg. For example, C-19 is sequentially the 19th iceberg tracked by the USNIC in Antarctica between 180-90E (Quadrant C). Icebergs with letter suffixes have calved from already named icebergs, where the letters are added in sequential order. For example, C-19D, is the 4th iceberg to calve off the original C-19 iceberg.

The National Ice Center is a tri-agency operational center represented by the United States Navy (Department of Defense), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Department of Commerce), and the United States Coast Guard (Department of Homeland Security). The National Ice Center mission is to provide the highest quality strategic and tactical ice services tailored to meet the operational requirements of U.S. national interests and to provide specialized meteorological and oceanographic services to United States government agencies.

Satellite image of Iceberg A-68C
Figure 1: SENTINEL-1A image of A-68C, April 24, 2020 (Sentinel-1 Imagery courtesy European Space Agency)

For more information, please contact:
National Ice Center
Naval Ice Center
Command Duty Officer
Voice: (301) 943-6977
Twitter: @usnatice
Facebook: @usnatice

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