A huge iceberg estimated to be about the size of Los Angeles recently broke the 150-meter-thick (500-foot) Brent ice shelf in Antarctica.
New high-resolution images now taken by Airbus for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), taken by UK Satellite Vision-2, reveal details of less than 1 meter around the large crack that caused the break-off. Glaciologists from the BAS Haley research station working in the area had been anticipating the calf phenomenon for at least the past decade and saw the first signs of things returning in November 2020. The Brent ice shelf, which borders the Antarctic coast of Coats Land, is at risk of iceberg break-off due to the formation of several skins over the years.
When researchers noticed that a newly formed chasm in the North the Rift about 23 kilometers (14 miles) north of Haley Research Station, the Stancomb-Wills Glacier tongue began to move closer to another large crack just 35 kilometers (22 miles) away, they knew it was a huge break. It is just a matter of time before it is off. The video below, taken on 2021 February 16, shows the size of the North Rift.
As the cracks widened, the iceberg separated from the Brut Ice Shelf on February A74 and the Ice Island Shelf on February 26, freeing the floating portion of the ice with an area of 1,270 square kilometers (490.3 square miles).
The images show the North Rif in the north-north range on February 27, 2021, one day after the engraving incident took place. BAS researchers will continue to use images from Vision-1 to investigate the trajectory of the future A74 from Vision-1 as another collision is imminent that could cause the A74 to collide with the western part of the Brent ice shelf, resulting in a more calm current unconscious (due to winter) Haley Research Station.
Icebergs usually closely monitored, with NASA monitoring events. Although break-offs are considered a common part of the Antarctic recycling of snow and ice, some are driven by warmer climates and rising ocean temperatures. Therefore, a lot of work goes into understanding how these huge objects removed and further melted after being separate from the ice shelf or glacier. Interestingly, recent research has shown that icebergs actually melt faster than current models and the size of the ice may be important for how this happens.
New research suggests that icebergs melt more quickly than narrow ones and melt faster than shallow ones. On top of the more interesting notes, if you have ever wondered how the size of an iceberg can affect your ability to sink in water, you can find yourself with a new interactive website that lets you draw your own iceberg and see if your shape is intact. Try it, we promise it is a lot of fun.