8th Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography


Break-up of Giant Tabular Icebergs in North East Greenland


Keld Q. Hansen, Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract Icebergs from the Northeast Greenland outlet glaciers between 78º00N and 79º30N differ from bergs from the southern Greenland latitudes in that they are larger and basically dissimilar due to large horizontal scales compared with vertical scales. Icebergs from the two major glacial outlets in this particular area, ?79-fjorden glacier? and Zacharie Glacier?, are more like Arctic Ocean ice islands. Due to the presence of a semi-permanent and stationary sea ice cover in the shore region these bergs can be trapped through decades near the shore in ?Jøkelbugten?. However, through the summers of 2002 and 2003 the East Greenland sea ice retreated radically. The semi-permanent sea ice cover broke up and many of the trapped bergs began drifting; numerous of them several kilometres wide, about 50 meters thick. A significant part of these bergs drifted offshore into the East Greenland Current and recently, several of these giant tabular icebergs were observed near the southern shores of Greenland, more than 2000 kilometres from the source. The presentation will focus on this event.

Poster Session 3, Formal Poster Viewing - Atmophere, Ice, Ocean
Wednesday, 12 January 2005, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM

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