Massive Ice Shelf in Antarctica Calves


North Rift crack photographed by Halley team in January 2021.

An iceberg bigger than Saguenay, Quebec has broken off Antarctica. The iceberg detached from the continent on Friday.


The British Antarctic Survey said the massive iceberg measuring 1270 km² has broken off the 150 metre thick Brunt Ice Shelf.


Scientists detected the growth of vast cracks in the ice almost a decade ago.


The first indication that this event was imminent was in November of 2020 when a new chasm – called North Rift – headed towards another large chasm near the Stancomb-Wills Glacier Tongue 35 km away. North Rift is the third major crack through the ice shelf to become active in the last decade.


In January, the rift pushed northeast at about a kilometre a day.


The iceberg formed when the crack widened several hundred metres in a few hours on Friday morning, releasing it from the rest of the floating ice shelf.


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