Context for the Recent Massive Petermann Glacier Calving Event

Publication: ResearchJournal article – Annual report year: 2011

  • Author: Falkner, Kelly K.

    Oregon State University

  • Author: Melling, Humfrey

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada

  • Author: Münchow, Andreas M.

    University of Delaware

  • Author: Box, Jason E.

    Ohio State University

  • Author: Johnson, Helen L.

    University of Oxford

  • Author: Gudmandsen, Preben

    Microwaves and Remote Sensing, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Ørsteds Plads, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Samelson, Roger

    Oregon State University

  • Author: Copland, Luke

    University of Ottawa

  • Author: Steffen, Konrad

    Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

  • Author: Rignot, Eric

    California Institute of Technology

  • Author: Higgins, Anthony K.

    Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland

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On 4 August 2010, about one fifth of the floating ice tongue of Petermann Glacier (also known as “Petermann Gletscher”) in northwestern Greenland calved (Figure 1). The resulting “ice island” had an area approximately 4 times that of Manhattan Island (about 253±17 square kilometers). The ice island garnered much attention from the media, politicians, and the public, who raised concerns about downstream implications for shipping, offshore oil and gas operations, and possible connections to Arctic and global warming. Does this event signal a change in the glacier's dynamics? Or can it be characterized as part of the glacier's natural variability? Understanding the known historical context of this event allows scientists and the public to judge its significance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalE O S
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)117-118
StatePublished - 2011
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI


  • Greenland, Glacier, Ocean, Calving
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ID: 5647496