By LT Jacquelyn Putnam, NOAA
June 06, 2023
Suitland, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has confirmed that iceberg A-76A has split in half, creating A-76M in the northern Weddell Sea. The calving event was first spotted on MODIS imagery on June 03. As of June 04, A-76A was centered at 55° 32' S and 37° 22' W and measured 31 nautical miles on its longest axis and 4 nautical miles on its widest axis. A-76M was centered at 55° 26' S and 37° 21' W and measured 35 nautical miles on its longest axis and 4 nautical miles on its widest axis. A-76 first calved from the Ronne Ice Shelf in May 2021. The locations of A-76A through A-76L are still being tracked by the USNIC, while A-76I broke up and became too small to track on May 16.
The new icebergs were first spotted by Dr Jan Lieser of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and confirmed by USNIC Analyst Katherine Quinn using the MODIS image in Figure 1 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.
Iceberg positions are analyzed weekly and are available on the USNIC webpage at: https://usicecenter.gov/Products/AntarcIcebergs
USNIC is a multi-agency center—subordinate to Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command—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.
Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command directs and oversees more than 2,500 globally-distributed military and civilian personnel who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to make better decisions faster than the adversary.
For more information, please contact:
U.S. 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.