Birth of an iceberg

25/11/2012


 

© NASA


In October 2011, when flying around the ice shelf antrakticheskogo Pine Island Glacier Amundsen Sea off the coast of Antarctica, scientists have discovered a giant ice crack "language." Its dimensions are impressive — 29 kilometers long by 80 meters wide and 50 to 60 meters in depth.

When the gap reaches the opposite side of the ice shelf will leave a huge new iceberg drift in the Gulf of Pine Island and Amundsen Sea. NASA researchers for about a year watching this phenomenon from a distance using a special high-sensitivity equipment.

Satellite image of the crack, received on 26 October this year with the satellite "Landsat 7", shows that the crack ends now just a few kilometers from the opposite side of the "language" of the Pine Island Glacier.
The scientists also found that antrakticheskaya spring (summer in Antarctica coincides with winter in the Northern Hemisphere) cleared the edge of the Pine Island Glacier on the floating sea ice. His absence could accelerate the birth of a giant iceberg.

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