Antarctica's Colossal New Iceberg Is Doomed — Here's What Will Happen Next

A photo illustration of an Antarctic iceberg at sunset.Shutterstock

 

Danielle Andrew 16/07/2017, 20:39

"Rifting of this magnitude doesn't happen so often, so we don't often get a chance to study it up close," Joe MacGregor, a glaciologist and geophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told Business Insider in an email.

Source: Business Insider

What they found was epic in proportions. The crack measured more than 70 miles long, and at points it was more than 300 feet wide.

John Sonntag/IceBridge/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Source: Business Insider

By June, the rift had grown to dozens of miles — close enough to a breaking point for researchers to estimate the new iceberg's area. It was roughly that of Delaware's.

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Source:Business Insider

Its thickness was about 620 feet, or more than double the height of the Statue of Liberty.

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider

And its volume seemed to be about 277 cubic miles of ice. That's enough to fill Lake Erie more than two times.


Source: Business Insider

By late June, Luckman and others said it would be just days, or perhaps hours, until the colossal iceberg calved from Larsen C.


Source: Business Insider

Sometime between July 10 and July 12, the iceberg finally broke off.


Source: Business Insider

Subzero temperatures during Antarctica's winter prevent flights from February through mid-November. But multiple satellites photographed the event.

Sources: The Atlantic, Business Insider, Adrian Luckman (via Twitter)

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