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ASTER


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Erebus Ice Tongue
Click Image to Enlarge
Erebus Ice Tongue
 (JPG) (231,705 bytes) ( 1,386 x 1,524 )
The Erebus glacier in Antarctica comes down from Mt. Erebus and protrudes off the coast of Ross Island forming an 11-12 km long ice tongue out into McMurdo Sound. An Ice Tongue is a long and narrow sheet of ice projecting out from the coastline. It forms when a valley glacier moves very rapidly out into the sea or a lake. When the sea thaws in the summer, the ice tongue floats on the water without thawing. It also calves off in places forming icebergs. The Erebus Ice Tongue is only about 10 m high so its icebergs are small. When the ice around the tongue melts in the summer the waves of sea water constantly batter the edges of the tongue, carving very elaborate structures in the ice. Sometimes these pieces will calve off and sometimes the waves will cut very deep caves into the edges of the tongue. In the winter the sea water freezes once more around these new shapes. This ASTER image covers an area of 20.8 x 22.9 km, and was acquired 30 November 2001. It is centered at 77.6 degrees south latitude, 166.75 degrees east longitude.

Please give credit for these images to:
NASA/GSFC/METI/Japan Space Systems,
and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

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