Drygalski Ice-Tongue

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Drygalski Ice Tongue

An ice tongue is formed where a valley glacier moves quickly out from the land and over water. The Drygalski Ice Tongue is in the northern part of McMurdo Sound about 150 miles (240 kilometres) from Ross Island. Prior to 2005 it stretched about 43 miles (70 kilometres) out to sea.

In March 2005-2006 the giant 120km long iceberg known as B15A collided with the end of the ice tongue breaking off two large (70 square km) pieces. A year later in march 2006 another giant iceberg known as C16 broke another piece off of around 100 square km in size - picture below.

The ice tongue was measured from 1988 to 2002 as having advanced from the shore (with erosion of ice bergs at the exposed end) by 10km, so it shouldn't take too long (by glacier standards) for it to make up the lost ice once again.

Drygalski Ice Tongue
Drygalski Ice tongue, terminal portion being broken off by ice-berg C16

Photo; © Mike Usher - Pictures from an icebreaker cruise to Eastern Antarctica.