Last update: December 6th, 2019 at 8:00 am
Between November 9 and 11, 2013, a large iceberg separated from Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Dubbed “Iceberg B-31” by the U.S. National Ice Center (Natice), the freshly-calved iceberg was estimated to measure 35 km by 20 km (21 by 12 miles), roughly the size of Singapore. The iceberg began to drift into Pine Island Bay towards the Amundsen Sea, until the winter freeze-up put a damper on its drifting.
On October 27, 2014 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of Iceberg B-31 as spring returns to the Antarctic. According to Natice, on October 31,2014 B-31 measured 18 km x 11 km (11.2 mi x 6.8 mi), with an area of about 198 sq. km (76 sq. mi). That’s approximately the size of Grand Cayman Island, and notably smaller than the size when freshly calved.
The location on October 31 was listed as 72°39’S and 109°36’W – well into the Amundsen Sea. The calving front of Pine Island Glacier where Iceberg B-31 was born was roughly located at 75°S and 101°W. The distance drifted by the iceberg in a year was approximately 230 mi (370 km).