Drygalski Ice Tongue

The Drygalski Ice Tongue or Drygalski Barrier or Drygalski Glacier Tongue is a glacier in Antarctica, on the Scott Coast, in the northern McMurdo Sound of Antarctica's Ross Dependency, 240 kilometres (150 mi) north of Ross Island. The Drygalski Ice Tongue is stable by the standards of Antarctica's icefloes, and stretches 70 kilometres (43 mi) out to sea from the David Glacier, reaching the sea from a valley in the Prince Albert Mountains of Victoria Land. The Drygalski Ice Tongue ranges from 14 to 24 kilometres (9 to 15 mi) wide.

Drygalski Ice Tongue
The iceberg C-16 collides with Drygalski ice tongue on 30 March 2006.
Map showing the location of Drygalski Ice Tongue
Map showing the location of Drygalski Ice Tongue
TypeIce tongue
Coordinates75°24′S 163°30′E / 75.400°S 163.500°E / -75.400; 163.500Coordinates: 75°24′S 163°30′E / 75.400°S 163.500°E / -75.400; 163.500
Length48 kilometres (30 mi)
Width14 to 24 kilometres (9 to 15 mi)

Captain Robert Falcon Scott, leader of the British National Antarctic Expedition (BrNAE) (1901-1904), discovered the Drygalski Ice Tongue in January 1902 and named it for Prof. Erich von Drygalski, a contemporary German explorer then in Antarctica. The Drygalski Ice Tongue became well established by the name Drygalski Ice Tongue before it became usual to give the same name to a glacier and its glacier tongue. Although this feature is a glacier tongue, the generic term ice tongue has been retained in the name to reduce ambiguity.

The Drygalski Ice Tongue is thought to be at least 4,000 years old.

On March–April 2005, a 3,000 square kilometres (1,200 sq mi) iceberg designated B-15A hit the ice tongue breaking off two pieces, each with a surface area of about 70 square kilometres (27 sq mi). This iceberg is a remnant of Iceberg B-15, which calved from the Ross Ice Shelf in 2000. Scientists are also concerned for several penguin colonies which have been isolated from the open sea by the two large bodies of ice.

At the end of March 2006, another iceberg coming from the Ross Ice Shelf, named C-16, hit the ice tongue breaking off another large piece (more than 100 square kilometres or 39 square miles).

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