Pine Island Glacier

Pine Island Glacier

Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is a large ice stream flowing west-northwest along the south side of the Hudson Mountains into Pine Island Bay, Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. It was mapped by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) from surveys and United States Navy (USN) air photos, 1960–66, and named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN) in association with Pine Island Bay.

The area drained by Pine Island Glacier comprises about 10 percent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Satellite measurements have shown that the Pine Island Glacier Basin has a greater net contribution of ice to the sea than any other ice drainage basin in the world and this has increased due to recent acceleration of the ice stream.

The ice stream is extremely remote, with the nearest continually occupied research station at Rothera, nearly 1,300 km (810 mi) away. The area is not claimed by any nations and the Antarctic Treaty prohibits any new claims while it is in force.


Major rift in the Pine Island Glacier. Pine Island, at left, and Thwaites glaciers have recently averaged ice elevation losses of 6 meters per year in places. This "airborne" tour was created from only a small portion of the images collected during a flight over the Pine Island Glacier crack on October 26, 2011.


Read more about Pine Island Glacier:  Ice Sheet Drainage, Weak Underbelly of The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Acceleration and Thinning, Subglacial Volcano, See Also

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