Operation IceBridge Discovers Massive Crack In Ice Shelf

  • Released Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:53PM

NASA's DC-8 flew over the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf on Oct. 14, 2011, as part of Operation IceBridge. A large, long-running crack was plainly visible across the ice shelf. The DC-8 took off on Oct. 26, 2011, to collect more data on the ice shelf and the crack. The area beyond the crack that could calve in the coming months covers about 310 square miles (800 sq. km).

NASA's DC-8 flew over the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf on Oct. 14, 2011, as part of Operation IceBridge. A large, long-running crack was plainly visible across the ice shelf. The DC-8 took off on Oct. 26, 2011, to collect more data on the ice shelf and the crack. The area beyond the crack that could calve in the coming months covers about 310 square miles (800 sq. km).

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NASA's DC-8 flew over the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf on Oct. 14, 2011, as part of Operation IceBridge.  A large, long-running crack was plainly visible across the ice shelf.  The DC-8 took off on Oct. 26, 2011, to collect more data on the ice shelf and the crack.  The area beyond the crack that could calve in the coming months covers about 310 square miles (800 sq. km).

NASA's DC-8 flew over the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf on Oct. 14, 2011, as part of Operation IceBridge. A large, long-running crack was plainly visible across the ice shelf. The DC-8 took off on Oct. 26, 2011, to collect more data on the ice shelf and the crack. The area beyond the crack that could calve in the coming months covers about 310 square miles (800 sq. km).

This close-up of the rift opening up across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf was captured by the nadir-looking Digital Mapping System (DMS) on NASA's DC-8, which flew over the rift of Oct. 26, 2011.  The rift measured about 820 feet across at its widest and about 200 feet at its deepest.

This close-up of the rift opening up across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf was captured by the nadir-looking Digital Mapping System (DMS) on NASA's DC-8, which flew over the rift of Oct. 26, 2011. The rift measured about 820 feet across at its widest and about 200 feet at its deepest.

This mosaic of images from the Digital Mapping System (DMS) aborad NASA's DC-8 shows the active rift opening up across the ice shelf of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica.

This mosaic of images from the Digital Mapping System (DMS) aborad NASA's DC-8 shows the active rift opening up across the ice shelf of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica.

The torch of the Statue of Liberty would not quite peek out of the deepest points of the crevasse currently opening up across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica. This image is based on data from the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), which flew over the rift on NASA's DC-8 on Oct. 26, 2011. The scale at the bottom was taken from one of the rift's widest single points. For much of the line the DC-8 flew over, the crevasse was about 80 meters wide, but it is constantly changing.

The torch of the Statue of Liberty would not quite peek out of the deepest points of the crevasse currently opening up across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica. This image is based on data from the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), which flew over the rift on NASA's DC-8 on Oct. 26, 2011. The scale at the bottom was taken from one of the rift's widest single points. For much of the line the DC-8 flew over, the crevasse was about 80 meters wide, but it is constantly changing.

The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) instrument onboard NASA's DC-8 provides laser-derived topography.  On Oct. 26, 2011, as part of Operation IceBridge, a flight over an active calving rift on the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica shows the rift's deepest points to be more than 60 meters.

The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) instrument onboard NASA's DC-8 provides laser-derived topography. On Oct. 26, 2011, as part of Operation IceBridge, a flight over an active calving rift on the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica shows the rift's deepest points to be more than 60 meters.

A close up of the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) image from the Oct. 26, 2011, flight over the active calving rift on the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica.  This image is centered about 74.99 &degS, 101.15 &degW.

A close up of the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) image from the Oct. 26, 2011, flight over the active calving rift on the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica. This image is centered about 74.99 &degS, 101.15 &degW.

Three dimensional perspective view of preliminary ATM T4 elevation liar data over the Pine Island Glacier Rift flown by NASA's DC-8 aircraft on Oct. 26, 2011, with color bar.  The colors represent the elevation (meters) above sea level).

Three dimensional perspective view of preliminary ATM T4 elevation liar data over the Pine Island Glacier Rift flown by NASA's DC-8 aircraft on Oct. 26, 2011, with color bar. The colors represent the elevation (meters) above sea level).

Closer view of three dimensional perspective view of premliminary ATM T4 elevation lidar data over the Pine Island Glacier Rift flown by NASA's DC-8 aircraft on Oct. 26, 2011, without color bar.  The colors represent the elevation (meters) above sea level.

Closer view of three dimensional perspective view of premliminary ATM T4 elevation lidar data over the Pine Island Glacier Rift flown by NASA's DC-8 aircraft on Oct. 26, 2011, without color bar. The colors represent the elevation (meters) above sea level.



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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


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