Polar View team member assists in tracking massive Petermann Ice Island

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September 20, 2010

A senior project engineer with C-CORE, a Newfoundland, Canada based research firm and Polar View team member, is actively involved in tracking an ice island – the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere since 1962 – originally calved from the Petermann glacier in Greenland.

This August 5, 2010, satellite image provided by NASA shows an ice island that has broken off the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland. The huge island of ice is currently drifting toward Canada’s east coast and is considered a potential threat to transatlantic shipping and offshore energy platforms.

But C-CORE’s ice expert says its sheer bulk, measured at 250 square kilometres, is not the real reason the lumbering hulk could play havoc with the shipping lanes off Newfoundland’s Grand Banks. Some fragments could well make it down into the shipping lanes and if you’ve got high seas, these things are very difficult to pick up on radar.

However, with today’s technology, icebergs that are this large can be easily tracked by beacons, satellites and the International Ice Patrol, a branch of the U.S. Coast Guard that uses fixed-wing aircraft to warn mariners of icebergs.

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