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Iceberg Harmonic Tremor, Seismometer Data, Antarctica, Version 1

Seismometers were placed on a 25 km by 50 km iceberg called C16 in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, to identify the Iceberg harmonic Tremor (IHT) source mechanism and to understand the relevance of IHT to iceberg calving, drift and break-up. The seismic observations reveal that the IHT signal consists of extended episodes of stick-slip icequakes (typically thousands per hour) generated when the ice-cliff edges of two tabular icebergs rub together during glancing, strike/slip type iceberg collisions (e.g., between C16 and B15A). With the source mechanism revealed, IHT may provide a promising signal useful for the study of iceberg behavior and iceberg-related processes such as climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration.

Here, a single day of seismometer data for a single station on iceberg C16 is provided as an example of "a day in the life of an iceberg" for use by scientists and students wishing to know more about IHT. The station data is from C16 "B" site on C16's northeast corner, and the day is 27 December, 2003, a day when B15A struck C16 and caused an episode of tremor that was particularly easy to identify and understand.

This represents only a small fraction of the total data that exist for the seismic program on iceberg C16. The full data are archived at the IRIS data center (where seismic data is commonly archived). This one-day data set is to provide glaciologists with ready access to a good example of IHT that they can use for teaching and for demonstration purposes. Data are available in comma-delimited ASCII format and Matlab native mat files. Data are available via FTP.

Geographic Coverage

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: -77, S: -77, E: 168, W: 168

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 27 December 2003 to 28 December 2003
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets
  • Sea Ice > Icebergs
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Icebergs
  • Snow/Ice > Ice Motion
  • Sea Ice > Sea Ice Motion
Sensor(s): Not specified
Data Format(s):
  • ASCII Text
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Douglas MacAyeal, Emile Okal, Richard Aster, Jeremy Bassis

Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

MacAyeal, D. R., E. Okal, R. Aster, and J. Bassis. 2008. Iceberg Harmonic Tremor, Seismometer Data, Antarctica, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: [Date Accessed].
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