The Petermann Glacier grinds and slides toward the sea along the northwestern coast of Greenland, terminating in a giant floating ice tongue. Like other glaciers that end in the ocean, Petermann periodically calves icebergs. A massive iceberg, or ice island, broke off of the Petermann Glacier in 2010. Now, nearly two years later, another chunk of ice has broken free.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, on NASA’s Aqua satellite observed the new iceberg calving and drifting downstream on July 16–17, 2012. Because Aqua is a polar-orbiting satellite, it makes multiple passes over the polar regions each day.
Image Credit: NASA