The sea itself is frozen over for most of the year with more than two metres of ice, which glues the ice tongue in place and protects it from waves and currents raised by the often hurricane-force winds that howl down from the heart of the continent.
For this Antarctic mission, our Gavia AUV's goal was to understand how the eddies and flow beside the ice tongue varied horizontally.
The shape of the ice tongue
influences the stability of the glacier and how quickly it flows.
Located at about 67[degrees]N latitude, Helheim had been retreating rapidly since 2003 and had lost most of its ice tongue.
Small rocky islands near the mouth of the fjord hem in the ice tongue and may impede the flow and rapid loss of glacier ice into the fjord.
Scientists say the shearing off of the ice tongue
and the presence of the Mertz and B-9B icebergs could affect global ocean circulation.
Nasa satellites have spotted the B- 15 A iceberg moving toward the Drygalski Ice Tongue
and scientists expect a collision to occur no later than Saturday: ``It's a clash of the titans, '' said Robert Bindshadler, a Nasa research scientist.
According to a report in New Scientist, a group of scientists and climate change activists who are closely monitoring the Petermann glacier's ice tongue
believe that the rapid flow of ice is in part due to warm ocean currents moving up along the coast of Greenland, fuelled by global warming.
It was once a piece of the Thwaites Ice Tongue
, an extension of the Thwaites glacier which flows into the Amundsen Sea.
The new measure can now provide protection for areas of ocean revealed when ice shelves, glaciers or ice tongues
retreat or collapse along the Antarctic Peninsula, and designate them as a Special Area for Scientific Research.
The three sites all sit offshore from ice shelves or smaller ice tongues
, aprons of glacial ice that extend into the ocean.
AT first sight, it is surprising to learn that the mesmerising wall-mounted display of dripping, flesh-coloured ice tongues
which encase a series of knives is part of the same exhibition as a vast diorama of toy figures scattered around a floor map of Asia and the Far East.