The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-5
19 Nov 2018
 | 19 Nov 2018


S. D. Jawak, S. S. Singh, and A. J. Luis

Keywords: Antarctica, Calving, Optical Images, Rifts, Icebergs

Abstract. Iceberg calving is the detachment of ice from ice shelves or glaciers. Although calving is a natural phenomenon, an abnormal rate of calving can be a threat to ice shelves. Some of the events were so large, that an iceberg of approximately 150 × 50 km area was calved in a single event. The most recent reported iceberg calving event was Larsen C and it took place in July 2017. In addition to the large and widely reported calving events, there are several small calving events, which are also of great significance and contribute to the overall mass loss from Antarctica. This study focuses on small calving events in Antarctica along various coasts. Three calving events are studied here, all of them have occurred in the past. This study was performed using Google Earth and Landsat satellite imageries. The first event is identified to have occurred at the Knox coast in 2016. Even after the icebergs were calved, they remained intact with the ice shelf due to ice fronts. The second event took place at the Queen Mary Coast in the year 2014. This event was studied from 2009 to 2016 using Landsat satellite images and many rifts were observed. The third event took place at the Princess Astrid Coast in the year 2016. This event was monitored from 2014 and three icebergs were calved between the years 2014 to 2016. This study emphasizes the exploitation of optical satellite data for studying calving events in Antarctica. Various crevasses and rifts are observed on Landsat imageries, which can be the first sign of a calving process.