Iceberg A-69 Calves from Larsen-D Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea

By LT Bryan R. Brasher, NOAA
U.S. National Ice Center
June 26, 2020

Suitland, MD — The U.S National Ice Center (USNIC) confirmed a new iceberg has calved from the Larsen-D Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea. A-69 is located at 68°59’ South, 60°38’ West in the Weddell Sea. The iceberg measures 19 nautical miles on its longest axis and 10 nautical miles on its widest axis with an area of approximately 135 square nautical miles. A-69 was first spotted by Adrian Luckman of Swansea University and confirmed by USNIC Master Ice Analyst Chris Readinger using the Sentinel-1A 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.

Satellite image of Iceberg A-69
Figure 1: SENTINEL-1A image from 25 June (2359Z) showing new iceberg A-69. (Sentinel-1 Imagery courtesy of 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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