Home International Massive Iceberg Double The Size Of Mumbai Separates From Antarctica’s Ice Shelf 

Massive Iceberg Double The Size Of Mumbai Separates From Antarctica’s Ice Shelf 

A giant iceberg more than twice the size of Mumbai city has separated itself from Antarctica's 500-foot-thick Brunt Ice Shelf, British Antarctic Survey reported

by News Desk
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A huge iceberg (1550 km²), more than two times the size of Mumbai, broke off the 150m thick Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica on Sunday. It calved after cracks that have been developing naturally over the last few years extended across the entire ice shelf, causing the new iceberg to break free.

This occurred on January 22 “between 19.00 and 20.00 UTC during a spring tide”, reported the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in a statement. The iceberg calved when the crack known as Chasm-1 fully extended through the ice shelf. The break off is the second major calving from this area in the last two years and has taken place a decade after scientists at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) first detected growth of vast cracks in the ice.

The Brunt Ice Shelf is the location of BAS Halley Research Station. BAS glaciologists, who have been monitoring the behaviour of the ice shelf, say that the area of the ice shelf where the research station is located currently remains unaffected by the recent calving events. “The glaciological structure of the Brunt Ice Shelf is complex, and the impact of calving events is unpredictable. In 2016, BAS took the precaution of relocating Halley Research Station 23 km inland of Chasm-1 after it began to widen,” explained BAS.

Since 2017, staff have been deployed to the station only during the Antarctic summer (between November to March). Currently 21 staff are on station working to maintain the power supplies and facilities that keep the scientific experiments operating remotely through the winter. Their work will continue until they are collected by aircraft around February 6.

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‘It is not linked to climate change’: BAS

“This calving event has been expected and is part of the natural behaviour of the Brunt Ice Shelf. It is not linked to climate change. Our science and operational teams continue to monitor the ice shelf in real-time to ensure it is safe, and to maintain the delivery of the science we undertake at Halley,” said Professor Dominic Hodgson, BAS glaciologist.The Brunt Ice Shelf is probably the most closely monitored ice shelf on Earth.

A network of 16 GPS instruments measure the deformation of the ice and report this back on a hourly basis. European Space Agency satellite imagery (Sentinel 2), TerraSAR-X, NASA Worldview satellite images, US Landsat 8 images, ground penetrating radar, and on-site drone footage have been critical in providing the basis for early warning of changes to the Brunt Ice Shelf.

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