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Larsen C Ice Shelf Loses Massive Iceberg Chunk

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Published on : Jul 13, 2017

The Larsen C ice shelf recently lost nearly 12 percent of its total surface area. To put things in perspective, this volume is bigger than Delaware. This is one of the largest icebergs seen by man, and has been adrift in waters after breaking off from the West Antarctic ice shelf. Scientists are currently putting the ice shelf under intense observation to record any signs of further breakage or collapse.

Slow Forming Crack Finally Complete

The crack in the Larsen C ice shelf had been growing at a regular pace. After years of frozen formation, the crack finally completed its way through the ice shelf, sending a massive chunk of ice floating into the waters. The iceberg is measured to be 5,800 sq. km. in volume, which is nearly double the volume of water held by Lake Erie. The iceberg is expected to weight over one trillion tons.

No Imminent Danger, say Scientists

Although the behemoth of an iceberg is now floating in the sea, the iceberg was already floating before it calved. This means that it had no direct impact on water levels once it got fully calved. According to the researchers from the MIDAS Antarctic research project, the iceberg which will likely be named A68, the 12 percent reduction in area on the Larsen C ice shelf will change the Antarctic Peninsula landscape forever.

The separation was recorded by a NASA satellite and occurred between Monday and Wednesday.