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Satellite image of iceberg C-18.May 8, 2002 — The National Ice Center in Suitland, Md., confirms an iceberg broke off from the Ross Ice Shelf, a large sheet of glacial ice and snow extending from the Antarctic mainland into the southern Ross Sea. (Click satellite image for larger view of iceberg C-18 taken May 5, 2002.)

This new iceberg, named C-18, is roughly 41 nautical miles long and 4 nautical miles wide, an area of approximately 164 square nautical miles. The iceberg is currently located at 77.78S/ 178.78E. National Ice Center analyst Judy Shaffier spotted the new berg while performing a weekly analysis of the Ross Sea. Shaffier located the berg using a satellite image from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Operational Line Scan Infrared sensor.

Iceberg names are derived from the Antarctic quadrant in which they were originally sighted. The quadrants are divided counter-clockwise in the following manner:

A = 0-90W (Bellinghausen/Weddell Sea)
B = 90W-180 (Amundsen/Eastern Ross Sea)
C = 180-90E (Western Ross Sea/Wilkesland)
D = 90E-0 (Amery/Eastern Weddell Sea).

When an iceberg is first sighted, the National Ice Center documents its point of origin. The letter of the quadrant, along with a sequential number is assigned to the iceberg. For example, C-18 is sequentially the 18th iceberg tracked by the NIC in Antarctica between 180-90E (Quadrant C).

The National Ice Center is a tri-agency operational center represented by the United States Navy (Department of Defense); the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Department of Commerce); and the United States Coast Guard (Department of Transportation). The National Ice Center mission is to provide world-wide operational ice analyses for the armed forces of the United States and allied nations, U.S. government agencies and the private sector.

Relevant Web Sites
Iceberg C-18 Image Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Operational Line Scan Visible sensor 890 x 1024

Defense Meteorological Satellite Program

Archived Satellite Images, Storm Animations and Special Events, Including Icebergs

Media Contact:
Patricia Viets, NOAA Satellite and Data Service, (301) 457-5005 or Christopher O'Connors, National Ice Center, (301) 457-5303 ext. 306