Rights: The University of Waikato Published 21 June 2007 Download

Dr Mike Williams from NIWA explains how the icebergs that have calved off the Antarctic ice sheet are being tracked.


The way that icebergs are routinely tracked is via satellite pictures. So every time a satellite goes over the top, you can look down and see any big icebergs. We’ve only been able to track icebergs that have had a minimum dimension of about 20 kilometres long - so these are really big icebergs. And what you do is you just use the images as they pass to see where the iceberg has moved to, and you can create a track.

The nice thing about the satellites is they’re flying over all the time, and their data’s being archived. So if you forget to look somewhere you can go back into that archive.