NOAA 2002-R302
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


An iceberg newly calved from the Matusevich Glacier Tongue in Antarctica has been discovered by the National Ice Center in Suitland, Md. The Matusevich Glacial Tongue is a large extension of the Matusevich Glacier from the Antarctic mainland into the northwestern Ross Sea.

This new iceberg, named C-17, is roughly 11 nautical miles long and 4 nautical miles wide, and covers an area of approximately 58.24 square statute miles. An analyst at the center spotted the new berg while performing a weekly analysis of the Ross Sea. The berg was located with a satellite image from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Operational Line Scan Visible sensor.

Iceberg names are derived from the Antarctic quadrant in which they were originally sighted. The quadrants are divided counter-clockwise in the following manner:

A = 0-90W (Bellinghausen/Weddell Sea)
B = 90W-180 (Amundsen/Eastern Ross Sea)
C = 180-90E (Western Ross Sea/Wilkesland)
D = 90E-0 (Amery/Eastern Weddell Sea).

When an iceberg is first sighted, NIC documents its point of origin. The letter of the quadrant, along with a sequential number is assigned to the iceberg. For example, C-17 is sequentially the 17th iceberg found by the NIC in Antarctica between 180-90E (Quadrant C).

The NIC is a tri-agency operational center represented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Department of Commerce); the United States Navy (Department of Defense); and the United States Coast Guard (Department of Transportation). The National Ice Center mission is to provide world-wide operational ice analyses for the armed forces of the United States and allied nations, U.S. government agencies, and the private sector.

An image of the iceberg is available at:

For more information about the National Ice Center, please see: