The National
Ice Center
in Suitland, Md., reports a new iceberg, 233 square
miles in area, has calved, or splintered away, from the Pine
Island Glacier in the Amundsen Sea in Antarctica.

Iceberg B-21 was
detected Nov. 15 using satellites in the Defense
Meteorological Satellite Program
, which are operated by the
Commerce Department’s National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
. The instrument used
to image the iceberg is the Optical Linescan Sensor. The iceberg
is known to have calved from the Pine Island Glacier sometime
between Nov. 10 and 11, according to imagery.

B-21 is located in the vicinity of Latitude
74.76 degrees south; Longitude 102 degrees east, and has moved
northwest since calving from the Pine Island Glacier. B-21 measures
25.3 by 9.2 statute miles.

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 to 90 degrees West longitude (Bellinghausen/Weddell

  • B = 90 West to 180 (Amundsen/Eastern
    Ross Sea)

  • C = 180 to 90 East (Western Ross Sea/Wilkesland)
  • D = 90 East to 0 (Amery/Eastern Weddell

When an iceberg is first sighted, the National
Ice Center documents its point of origin. The letter of the quadrant,
along with a sequential number, is assigned to the iceberg. For
example, B-21 is the 21st iceberg the Ice Center has found in
Antarctica in Quadrant B since it began monitoring in 1976.

The National Ice Center, a tri-agency with
representation from the U.S. Navy,
NOAA, and the U.S. Coast Guard,
provides worldwide operational sea ice analyses and forecasts
tailored to meet the requirements of U.S. national interests.
The center tracks icebergs using remotely sensed data provided
in-part by satellites operated by NOAA and the Department of

For more information, and for an image
of the iceberg, please see:

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