Huge iceberg in Greenland’s Petermann Glacier breaks off, twice the size of Manhattan (Photo)

By on Jul 19, 2012 in Environment, North America Comments

A huge iceberg, or ice island, in Greenland recently broke off, and was captured by NASA Aqua satellite as shown in the photo below, which was said to be twice the size of Manhattan, and half the size of the iceberg that broke off on the same area two years ago.

Petermann Glacier satellite image
Image Credit: NASA/

As reported by NASA Earth Observatory on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the new iceberg at Petermann Glacier, one of Greenland‘s largest glaciers, was seen calving and drifting downstream for two days, from Monday, July 16 to Tuesday, July 16.

According to the report, scientists have been closely monitoring a long crack near the tip of the northerly Petermann Glacier for several years. The said iceberg was estimated to be about 46 square miles, roughly half the size of the ice island that calved off of Petermann in 2010.

“At 10:25 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on July 16 (top image), the iceberg was still close to the glacier. At 12:00 UTC that same day (middle), the berg had started moving northward down the fjord. Thin clouds partially obscure the downstream view.” A statement reads at

“One day later, at 09:30 UTC on July 17, Aqua spied a larger opening between the glacier and the iceberg, as well as some breakup of the thinner, downstream ice. The iceberg appears to have made a slight counter-clockwise turn.” The NASA Earth Observatory added.

“The floating extension is breaking apart. It is not a collapse but it is certainly a significant event.” Eric Rignot of NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California–Irvine was quoted in the report, who camped at Petermann 10 years ago.

On the other hand, University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment professor Andreas Muenchow, who was one of the first researchers to notice the break and assisted Trudy Wohleben of the Canadian Ice Service, posted some information at

“I think the glacier will be quiet now for a while.” Dr. Muenchow was quoted telling to New York Times on Wednesday, adding that majority of the ice loss from the Petermann Glacier happens from melting deep underwater, near what is known as the hinge line.

Petermann Glacier satellite image
Image Credit:

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