Learning Activities

4. Hunting Icebergs



This set of tutorials teaches how to identify tabular icebergs, measure their size and monitor their movements using satellite imagery. Learners are introduced to techniques and tools used by expert iceberg hunters. At the completion of each tutorial, learners have an opportunity to apply what they learned to real world data collected by NASA satellites.

Learning Objectives:

After successfully completing these modules, students will be able to use satellite imagery to do the following:

  • Locate icebergs using spectral filtering techniques in both daylight and nighttime conditions.
  • Estimate the area of an iceberg using two different sizing methods.
  • Estimate the speed and trajectory of an iceberg.


Before using these tutorials, students should be familiar with basic concepts and principles of remote sensing which are covered in Learning Activity 1. A meteorological background is helpful but not essential.

Pedagogical Applications:

These tutorials can be used in a number of ways in various disciplines. Some suggestions are provided below.

  • Supplement existing lessons on icebergs and/or satellite imagery.
  • Reinforce math skills in measuring surface area of objects (module 2).
  • Support instruction on selecting wavelengths in remote sensing applications.


  • A)

    Identifying Icebergs

    How to identify icebergs using satellite imagery

  • B)

    Sizing Up Icebergs

    How to derive quantitative information from satellite images of icebergs

  • C)

    Tracking Icebergs

    How to track the movement of an iceberg from satellite images