By LT Falon M. Essary, USN
U.S. National Ice Center
February 10, 2021
Suitland, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has confirmed fracturing of A-68J prompting the naming of A-68P. As the A-68 family grows larger, the icebergs are getting smaller but there is enough iceberg left for at least several more named icebergs in the coming days and weeks. As of February 10th, the new iceberg A-68P was located at 56° 22' South, 33° 13' West, and measures 15 nautical miles on its longest axis and two nautical miles on its widest axis.
A-68P was first spotted by Jan Lieser of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and confirmed by USNIC Ice Analyst Christopher Readinger using the MODIS image 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.
For more information, please contact:
National Ice Center
Command Duty Officer
Voice: (301) 943-6977
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.