NASA / GSFC / METI / ERSDAC / JAROS / US-JAPAN ASTER SCIENCE TEAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / GSFC / METI / ERSDAC / JAROS / US-JAPAN ASTER SCIENCE TEAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica, satellite image. This is the terminus of the glacier, where it reaches the sea at the coast. A large crack (centre right) has formed here. This crack, 30 kilometres long, is the start of the formation of a large iceberg with an area of some 900 square kilometres. This glacier is a type known as an ice stream, draining ice from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet into the ocean. If the glaciers in Antarctica disintegrate and melt, global sea levels would rise. Image taken on 13 November 2011 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite.
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