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Hmmmm they have not accused it of causing cancer, are we sure this is the Daily Mail?


For the benefit of any Daily Mail hacks using this site to research new material; okay, I may have accused the sea ice area graphs of having a fat arse, but there is no way you will be able to find a pap shot of it wearing a bikini.


Well if the Daily Fail have started reporting from the Archtic, then I'm looking forward to seeing whether the next Sun headline of "Phew! What a scorcher!" actually refers to the weather somewhere...


For what its worth under cloud cover, I compared the Humboldt calving front to a 9 July 2011 pic and missed a total of 15 km2.
When a good pic gets through, I'll try to verify.
With this in mind, I think the Humboldt is playing along with its brothers in arms...

Account Deleted


"On July 21, 2012, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the iceberg’s continuing journey. This image has been rotated and north is toward the right. This detailed image reveals that the iceberg covers an area of about 32.3 square kilometers (12.5 square miles)."


Today's Modis shows the ice island making steady progress down the fjord. Despite the clouds you can see that the first break has occurred.



Really clear Modis image of the Petermann today.



Bernard Vatant

Back to Petermann since after all it is the original topic :)
Today's view is clear from clouds. http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r03c03.2012212.terra.250m
The ice island has drifted more than 20km since the calving event, that is more than 1km/day. At the same speed it will take between one and two more weeks to enter Nares main stream.

Espen Olsen

Petermann Glacier:

We may have a new calving potential looking from this 250m Modis orbit swath image, there is a marking across I never noticed before it is about 5 - 10 km behind the new edge:


Account Deleted

I think that is a cloud shadow Espen

Artful Dodger

No clouds in the area Philip, that feature is on the ice. Check the Aqua Bands 3-6-7 image:


Espen Olsen

Artful Dodger,

Thanks, because I did not any clouds neither, that made me suspicious!

Mike Constable

The dark streak is similar to ones that can sometimes be seen on the Ross ice-shelf in the southern hemisphere. I noticed some of them years ago and one is associated with a new berg which has been threatening to break away for a long time.

Seke Rob

That 1km/day is an interesting fact to consider. Is it wind, is it ater in substantial amounts coming off GIS, is it some water turbulence from the Nares channel... water pushed in one side and leaving the other, of course, could be the sum of all 3.


I also thought it was a shadow from a wisp of cloud. I'm not seeing anything on today's near real-time satellite image, but if something does show up later today on the Arctic Mosaic I'll put up a short blog post.

Russell McKane

I looked a them earlier today and I noticed that there where similar wisps to the left (Humble side) on the non glacial snow surface. I suspect they are wind trails possibly surface ice/snow leaving a shaddow.
PS High folk, still following religiously but Boy I miss my Polar eye website with the Satalite crash so have been unable to work further on my visual prediction modelling.

Daniel Bailey

Neven, am in agreement with Lodger. Using his referenced imagery, clouds on ice lighten the tone of the false-color red for the ice. The feature in question is darker in tone, similar in tonal coloration to the ice striations running in the bedding of the ice tongue parallel to the direction of the flow of the ice. Since the feature runs perpendicular to the direction of flow, it is reasonable to conclude it to be an area of potential calving.

Daniel Bailey

Alternatively, they could be artifacts from the stitching process used to merge the satellite swaths together. Something to watch, in any event.


I think there may be a calving disintegration event goint on on the East side of Greenland right now.

If you look at the Modis subset that includes 79 North and Zachariae and then move from those two Southwest along the inland channel you will reach a point where the termini of two glaciers meet--Storstrommen from the North and L. Bistrup Brae from the South. The meeting point is just SSW of an oval Island surrounded by Storstrommen. Just to the SE of the termini is Borgfjorden.

A week ago Borgfjorden was mostly open water, but now it's filled up with a stream of frothy looking ice coming from the termini. I think it's primarily a portion of the terminus of Storstrommen that is disintegrating as it too has a disrupted look to it's surface.

Here's how it looked on 7-30


Here's how the termini looked two years ago


Espen Olsen


Yes there is definitely a lot on the move in that area, and it will be interesting to see how it all looks like in September.
Did you notice that big piece of ice just south of Shannon Island, how it blowed into to smaller pieces in the last 24 hours?

Peter Ellis

Daniel, Lodger: I think it's a shadow. The cloud itself is above the cliffs on the western side of the glacier - you can just see it against the snow. The cloud's quite high and the sun angle is low, so the shadow is well displaced from the cloud.


And abracadabra, gone again on today's satellite image. :-)

Bernard Vatant

Comparing images of MODIS between yesterday and today might give some clues about what is going on between the calving front and the ice island.

July 30:

July 31:

The ice island itself has pivoted clockwise about 30°, sort of "rolling" on the right bank of the fjord.
Meanwhile the configuration of icebergs behind the island has been completely messed up. But I would guess that the long narrow one indicated by the red spot, about 3 km long, is the same in the two images. Looks like there is a strong anti-clockwise current there moving this stuff around.

Artful Dodger

Here is the 5 minute swath data used for the Day 212 (July 30) image:

I'm confident the striations on the July 30 Mosaic image are not clouds, since they span the entire width of the fjord.
However, they may well be processing artifacts. It's good that people are watching though.


Seke Rob

Bernard, that's an interesting analysis and would have been my best guess of how the entry/exit current ["turbulence" lacking a better word at writing] would be. Thx


While Neven gently sleeps... Dr Muenchow has posted the first two pictures of the Peterman Ice Island 2012, taken from an helicopter: http://icyseas.org/2012/08/17/nares-strait-2012-first-petermann-ice-island-photos/



I'm awake, I'm awake! ;-)

I think I'll repost this.


PII2012 Breakup

Yesterday, as noted by Dr Muenchow at his blog


PII2012 broke up on the sill in Kane Basin. Dr M posts here, but if you haven't been to his site you've been missing some interesting stuff! He recently retrieved data that includes the bottom profile of PII2010B amongst other interesting tidbits.


Espen Olsen

This is a re post:

Kangertittivaq / Scoresbysund East Greenland:

Calving activities: Døde (Death) Bræ is calving big way with her bigger brother Vestfjord Gletscher and further inside the fjord system Daugaard-Jensen Gletscher is on move as well.

Further up north Tobias is spewing ice and Newman Bugt calved at piece relatively in size as big as Pertmann II.

Seke Rob

Petrmann II aka Petermann II, Stanley presumes twice. The grand incontinence of the Greenland outlets.

Espen Olsen

Yes it was a "typo" Petermann II!

Espen Olsen

Humboldt Glacier North Greenland,

Heavy calving action is seen in front of Humboldt the neighbor to Petermann. Updates follows:

Espen Olsen

Petermann Glacier,

If I am not completely wrong, but I think we are seeing some trimming (slice calving) of the edge in both southern and northern part.



Petermann Glacier action:

There is definitely something on the move at the front of Petermann, if you compare these 2 modis in 2 different tabs, you will a difference in just +/- 24 hours, I would like to have some comments from some who cares? Thanks!





I care, but I think the links are to the same image. A little description of what you're looking at might help (old eyes)




I dont know what went wrong, sorry, here is an image from 254: Have a look at the whole front of the glacier. Espen




Those huge graphic files slowed my system to a crawl. I'm going to reboot to speed things up.

If subset's are adequate to see what you're referencing I'd prefer them. Is it the calving off the Humboldt that has caught your eye, or the movement of the ice to the south shore in Petermann Fjord - or something else?

Humboldt is producing large amounts of ice from somewhere, without noticeably retreating, (possibly the front is being undercut?) The other possibility is that FYI in the crook of the horn is being flushed out, although there appears to be too much ice for this.

Still not clear that this is what you're referring to though.

Be back when I've rebooted & cleared out some files.




Yes I have noticed the activity at Humboldt, and it almost the same happening at Petermann, those ice slices can be 60 - 70 thick and when they turn around in the sea they appear much bigger from a satellite eye.
But I am pretty confident there were some noticeable ice loss at Petermann over the last couple of days, some at the south side is gone and part of north side is one.
Did you notice the calving at Newmann Bugt a week ago, size wise (relatively) as big as Petermann in July, it is the unnamed Glacier in Newman Bugt next door to the north from Petermann Fjord.



Hadn't noticed anything at Newman, but being bracketed by Petermann and Steensby certainly leaves it in a danger zone.

I've wondered about whether the "tributaries" feeding into Petermann from the north, that used to merge into the glacier, might now disrupt it's front.



Had a quick look after Espen's heads up and I'd have to agree that Petermann looks a little changed at either side.


Don't think Petermann itself has changed much (comparing the 250m images of day 250 and 256, the ice front remains about stationary and doesn't visibly calve back (though there's a fair bit of room at a 250m resolution!) but in betweentimes, some sea ice from Nares wandered in towards Petermann up to day 254. It's an interesting coincidence that the extra debris appears as some sea ice, which had been gradually entering the fjord over the preceding few days, gets blown to one side. It's plausible that the bright white material next to the ice front is little more than a mash of the sea ice, but also plausible that the same conditions that brought and moved sea ice into the fjord, triggered some small calving.

Espen Olsen

Newmann Bugt,

As you can see on this modis 250m from August 30 2012, a piece went of at the Newman Bugt Glacier aprox. +/- 2 km2, or relatively the same size as Petermann II.


I agree not much have changed at Petermann, but I am pretty sure something changed.


Espen Olsen

If am not wrong, I believe it is the first year we watch all 3 glaciers calved Petermann in the same season (2012 - 2010) Steensby (2012 - ?) and Newman ( 2012 - ?)
And Steensby should not calve at all according to this report from Frank Ahnert 1962, he got it all wrong in the first paragraph: http://www.igsoc.org:8080/journal/4/35/igs_journal_vol04_issue035_pg537-545.pdf

Andreas Muenchow

Nice find of a paper, Espen. I had not seen it, but always love to read what people were thinking 40-50 or 100-150 years ago as it often puts the present into a larger perspective. If only the day had more hours or one could get by with less sleep ... to read more or to apply new edge detection codes to quantify motion and change while also account for mountain shadows. Devils and details.

Espen Olsen


Yes I found it a bit funny when I read it, but many of those old reports including the Coppinger report of Petermann you supplied me,are almost like being there with horses dogs and polar bears.


This video has all the drama, thanks for sharing

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