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Media Advisory


NSF PA/M 00-19 - November 2, 2000

Photos Available: Enormous Antarctic Icebergs

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is making available the only aerial photographs taken to date of an enormous iceberg which calved from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica earlier this year.

What: Digital images of iceberg B-15 and other large Antarctic icebergs at a resolution of 300 dpi. (Photos should be credited to Josh Landis, National Science Foundation)

How: The photographs were taken from a ski-equipped LC- 130 aircraft flown the N.Y. Air National Guard, which provides logistical support to the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP). NSF, through the USAP, coordinates all U.S. scientific research in Antarctica.

Background: When the iceberg-designated B-15-broke off the Ross Ice Shelf in late March, it was approximately 11,000 square kilometers (4,250 square miles) in area, making it one of the largest floating icebergs ever observed. Subsequent gyrations of the ice have broken the original berg into several enormous pieces. One of those pieces also has broken off a separate, very large iceberg that has been designated C-16. The NSF images include photos of both icebergs.

The icebergs have been drifting slowly in the direction of McMurdo Sound and McMurdo Station, the main U.S. scientific station in Antarctica. There is some concern that the enormous pieces of ice could close shipping lanes. An NSF-sponsored scientific team is scheduled to visit the icebergs during the 2000 research season to place tracking devices on them and to conduct other science.

The ice edge at the Ross Sea
B-15 iceberg B-15 iceberg C-16 C-16 The ice edge at the Ross Sea The ice edge at the Ross Sea

All photos: Josh Landis, National Science Foundation

For more information contact:
Peter West (703) 292-8070/



National Science Foundation
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