Home/ News / World/  'London-sized' iceberg breaks off from Antarctic Ice Shelf

A giant iceberg, almost the size of London, has broke off from an Antarctic ice shelf. In the last two years, the break off is the second major calving from this area. It has taken place a decade after scientists at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) first detected growth of vast cracks in the ice, according to National Geographic. 

Nearly 600 square miles, the massive iceberg broke free from the 492ft-thick Brunt Ice Shelf on Sunday. It finally calved when the crack known as Chasm-1 fully extended through the ice shelf. 

BAS glaciologists have been monitoring the behavior of the ice shelf. They said that the area of the ice shelf remains unaffected by the recent calving events. 

In an official statement, Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of BAS said, “Our glaciologists and operations teams have been anticipating this event. Measurements of the ice shelf are carried out multiple times a day using an automated network of high-precision GPS instruments that surround the station." 

“These measure how the ice shelf is deforming and moving, and are compared to satellite images from ESA, NASA and the German satellite TerraSAR-X. All data are sent back to Cambridge for analysis, so we know what is happening even in the Antarctic winter – when there are no staff on the station, it is dark for 24 hours and the temperature falls below minus 50 degrees C (or -58F)," Professor Francis. 

BAS glaciologist Professor Dominic Hodgson said that this calving event has been expected to be a part of behavior of the Brunt Ice Shelf, not a link to climate change, the statement read. 

“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," the BAS glaciologist said. 

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Updated: 24 Jan 2023, 01:37 PM IST
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