A One Trillion Tons Iceberg Broke From The Larsen C Ice Shelf

one million tons iceberg satellite view

A one trillion tons iceberg jut broke free of the Larsen C Ice Shelf in northwest Antarctica.

Scientists monitoring the Larsen C Ice Shelf announced early on Wednesday morning that a one trillion tons iceberg just broken free of the formation located in northwest Antarctica.

The team of researchers is part of Project MIDAS, a United Kingdom initiated research project. Scientists point out that such calving events are quite to be expected. Especially so considering the crack in Larsen C, which has been expanding faster than expected.

Calving is the term given to the process in which chunks of ice break off at the end or terminus of an ice shelf or glacier.

 

One Trillion Tons Iceberg, the Third Biggest Calving Ever Recorded

According to initial estimates, the one trillion tons iceberg which recently broke off is one of the largest such structures ever recorded. It was estimated to be about the size of Delaware as it has an area of some 2,200 square miles. It also contains an ice volume about twice as big as the size of Lake Erie.

The Project MIDAS researchers revealed these details in a blog release posted on July 12. This also pointed out that the iceberg will most likely receive the “A68” designation. Its title will help officials in charge of tracking the movement of icebergs so that these can be avoided by ships.

Scientists also state that it is still hard to predict how the situation will unfold from now on. This is turn due to the iceberg’s large size. Scientists report that this may either remain in one piece or break apart into fragments. This latter also seems to be the most likely variant.

 

The calving event in itself is believed to have taken place sometime in between Monday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 12.

 

However, the researchers pointed out that “The calving of this iceberg leaves the Larsen C Ice Shelf reduced in area by more than 12 percent, and the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula changed forever.”

If the one trillion tons iceberg does break apart, some parts of it may drift up north, into warmer parts. Some others may remain for decades in the same area where they are now.

Image Source: JPL/NASA

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Roxanne Briean

I am a geek, a gamer and a writer. I have always been fascinated with the online community. At the moment I work as a full-time writer and study interior design. When I'm not scouring the net in search of interesting new gadgets and software I spend my time in MOBAs or drawing.