Ice Stories
Exploratorium Home

The Epic Iceberg Hunt

SCOTIA SEA– Yeah! We have all been waiting for this moment. We have finally arrived at our first study site.

It has been a bit of a journey getting here. On the way to our original destination– Iceberg UK177 near the South Orkney Islands– a new satellite image told us the berg had become surrounded by sea ice. We changed our course and headed to Iceberg UK238, a bit south and west of our original destination.

Sea ice, however, intervened again. Surrounded by freezing waters forming into pancake ice, we decided to turn towards Iceberg A43K in the Scotia Sea. It was 290 nautical miles northeast from where we were– approximately 27 hours away. We chose this berg because it was the brightest spot on our satellite image without sea ice in its vicinity, and because the surrounding water is 2700m deep.

Pancake ice on our way to the Scotia Sea.

In the midst of this hunt we continued to set up and test all of our equipment so that we would be ready when we found the iceberg we were searching for.

In the end, that iceberg was not A43K, the berg that we were heading toward, but one that we came across along the way. We are in the Scotia Sea, so this iceberg will now be referred to as SS1.

Iceberg Scotia Sea 1 (SS1), our first study site.

First we circumnavigated the berg to look at its structural integrity to make sure that it would be a safe place to study. SSI is 2.25mi in length and 80 – 100 feet from the sea water surface to the top of the berg.

We are starting to study it right away.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.