By Christopher Readinger, USN
U.S. National Ice Center
November 29, 2022
Suitland, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has confirmed that the three new A-80 icebergs (figure 1, below) calved at the same time from a larger calving event of the Larsen-D Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea. As of November 29, A-80A was centered at 71°49' South and 60°13' West and measured 19 nautical miles on its longest axis and 9 nautical miles on its widest axis, A-80B was centered at 71°28' South and 60°20' West and measured 14 nautical miles on its longest axis and 5 nautical miles on its widest axis, A-80C was centered at 71°35' South and 60°29' West and measured 10 nautical miles on its longest axis and 2 nautical miles on its widest axis. The initial break was seen in satellite imagery on 27 November.
The new icebergs were first spotted by Dr Jan Lieser of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and confirmed by USNIC Ice Analyst Christopher 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.
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.