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Tasman Glacier Ice Break – Satellite Image

Posted by feww on March 4, 2011

New Zealand Earthquake Shakes Ice from Tasman Glacier


The New Zealand earthquake which struck Christchurch  on February 22, 2011, also broke a 27 million ton chunk of ice off the Tasman Glacier. A false-color image of the glacier and surrounding area taken by ASTER on NASA’s Terra satellite on March 2, shows the calved iceberg, which broke into smaller pieces as it fell into the water, at the far end of the lake. Plant-covered land is red. The dirt-covered glacier is dark brown, ditto the exposed rocks. White shows the snow on the mountain tops to the west; the river and lake are silver. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

State of New Zealand Glaciers

Owing to human-induced climate change, triggered by destructive activities like tourism, intensive industrial farming… , Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s longest glacier, is retreating by about 1 meter per day.

New Zealand’s Southern Alps Glaciers have lost about 15 percent of their volume in the last three decades.


Glaciers in the New Zealand Alps, showing major retreat between 1990 to 2000.  Whereas Tasman Glacier had no terminal lake in 1973,  by 2008 it formed the Tasman Lake measuring 7 km long, 2 km wide and more than 250m deep. Images by NASA.

New Zealand Earthquake Update

“Up to 100 of the victims could be from as many as 20 countries. The collapsed Canterbury TV building contained dozens of foreign language students at the private training school King’s Education.” Source

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