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Witness the Largest Glacier Calving Event on Record

Lets start with the basics- what is glacial calving? When a glaciers calve, they don’t produce baby cows, instead they produce icebergs. The tip of a glacier breaks off due to the motion of the glacier itself and becomes an iceberg, floating on its own in frigid waters. Glacier calving events have been filmed from time to time, but not nearly in this scale and size.


The filming was part of the Extreme Ice Survey and the film Chasing Ice, both founded by James Balog to give a voice to the changing ecosystem in the arctic and all over the world. From the Extreme Ice Survey website: “EIS maintains an extensive portfolio of over one million single-frame photos celebrating the art and architecture of ice. We have 43 Nikon cameras watching over 24 glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Canada, Austria, and the Rocky Mountains. Our cameras record changes in the glaciers every hour, year-round during daylight, and yield approximately 8,000 frames per camera per year.”

The EIS team is comprised of experts in a number of fields, including photography, glaciology, geology, physics, ecology, climate change, ice climbing, and more. The project was started when researchers began noticing that ice changes that used to take decades to develop were happening in a matter of months. They set out to document the process and shed light on a part of our world that many people never venture to or even think about.

In this event filmed by Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski in 2008, icebergs the size of Manhattan broke off and floated away, twisting and rocking in the freezing waters. In total the event lasted for over an hour, though in the video it is condensed to less than 5 minutes. The parent glacier moved more than a mile during the filming, while the icebergs that broke off were in a section three miles wide.