Greenland’s Peterman Glacier calves large iceberg – PHOTOS

The ASTER instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft captured this image of a massive iceberg from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier on Aug. 12, 2010. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team (Click HERE for high resolution)

On Aug. 5, 2010, a massive island of ice, roughly 97 square miles (251 square kilometers) in size or 4 times the size of Manhattan, broke off the Petermann Glacier, along the northwestern coast of Greenland.  Scientists from the Canadian Ice Service project the chunk of ice to be moving toward the Nares Strait, which separates Greenland’s northwestern coast and Canada’s Ellsemere Island.  While the iceberg poses no immediate threat, it could eventually threaten Canada’s offshore platforms in the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and major shipping lanes.  The Canadian Ice Service however estimates that the journey could take one to two years and it’s likely to break up as it weathers and moves through warmer waters.

Icebergs calving off the Petermann Glacier are not unusual. Petermann Glacier’s floating ice tongue is the Northern Hemisphere’s largest, and it has occasionally calved large icebergs.  The recently calved iceberg is the largest to form in the Arctic since 1962, said the University of Delaware.

Keep reading after the jump for more pictures released by NASA.

Above image taken at 17:15 UTC on July 28, 2010

Above image taken at 18:05 UTC on August 5, 2010

Above image credit: NASA