Two large glacier tongues, which extend substantially across the coastline of King George V Land in East Antarctica, have been studied by remote sensing (synthetic aperture radar, JERS-1). The tongue of Mertz Glacier is in a state of advance, while the Ninnis Glacier tongue is retreating. Some more specific points are:
The distinctive surface structure and the form of the glacier tongues indicates that they are floating.
While the tongue of Ninnis Glacier has lost about two-thirds of its area since 1913, the Mertz Glacier tongue has advanced substantially and has about doubled its areal extent over the same time period.
The annual movement of the tongue of Mertz Glacier was determined as about 1.2 km. This is close to the value of the advance of the tip of the tongue since 1963, which was determined as 0.9 km year−1.