Iceberg A68G Calves from A-68A in the South Atlantic Sea

By LT Falon M. Essary, USN
U.S. National Ice Center
January 28, 2021

Suitland, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has confirmed a new iceberg calved from iceberg A-68A in the South Atlantic Ocean. The new iceberg A-68G is located at 56° 29' South, 35° 48' West. A-68G measures 29 nautical miles on its longest axis and 10 nautical miles on its widest axis.

A large crack has developed in A-68A near where A-68G broke free. Should that portion calve in one piece in the next few days, it will be large enough to be named as well.

A-68G was first spotted by Laura Gerrish of the British Antarctic Survey and confirmed by USNIC Ice Analyst Michael Lowe using the Sentinel-1A images shown below.

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-68G
Figure 1: Sentinel-1A image of A-68A and A-68G, January 28, 2021 (Sentinel-1A Imagery courtesy of European Space Agency)

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

The U.S. National Ice Center is a tri-agency center operated by the Navy, NOAA, and Coast Guard and provides global to tactical scale ice and snow products, ice forecasting, and related environmental intelligence services for the United States government.

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