Recent Iceberg calving at the front of the Filchner-Ronne-Schelfeis

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General Information:

Oerter, H. , Becker, T. and Fahrbach, E. (2000): Recent Iceberg calving at the front of the Filchner-Ronne-Schelfeis , Workshop Glaciation of the Weddell Sea Basin, Abisko, SwedenSept. 2000. .
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Supplementary Information:


In October 1998 and in May 2000 two major calving events took place at the ice front of the Filchner-Ronne-Schelfeis. The whole front of the Ronne Ice Shelf between Berkner Island in the East and the Antarctic Peninsula in the West retreated by appr. 35 km. The ice shelf area decreased by about 16,000 km2. The calving events are displayed by AVHRR satellite images received at the German base Neumayer Station. On one of the newly formed icebergs (A-38B) the German summer base Filchner drifted into the Weddell Sea and had to be recovered in the 1998/99 Antarctic field season. The tracks of all icebergs calved from Filchner-Ronne-Schelfeis since 1986 are displayed by use of data from the US National Ice Center and observations from satellite transmitters made by AWI. All calving events were expected in the framework of normal ice shelf dynamics and can not be taken as indicators of changing climate conditions. According to earlier ice core results these icebergs should partly consist of marine (formed by refreezing of underlying sea water) ice at the bottom. Therefore they will be a source of green icebergs when they break into smaller bergs and capsize.

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