Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Here's How A Perfectly Rectangular Iceberg Is Floating In Antarctica

NASA’s sea ice survey captures bizarre perfectly rectangular iceberg The peculiar iceberg
Sandra Phillips | 24 October, 2018, 05:53

Usually, when we think of icebergs, we don't imagine flawless geometric shapes. The calving is accelerated when warmer temperatures cause meltwater to trickle into the splitting cracks and widen the ice shelf division.

Scientists took the snap from a plane used to monitor changing land and sea ice in the South Pole. Sitting amid a chaotic jumble of floating ice, it looks perfectly rectangular, as though it was deliberately cut.

It looks nothing like the craggy, uneven mass that sunk the Titanic, perhaps the most famous iceberg ever.

NASA scientists from Operation IceBridge believe the iceberg - believed to be a mile wide - may have recently broken off the Larsen C ice shelf.

NASA also posted an image of another geometric iceberg, but in the shape of a triangle.

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"And then you have what are called "tabular icebergs". The iceberg represents one trillion tons of ice.

UMBC JCET Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Christopher Shuman, who has been watching the Larsen C Ice Shelf explained that the main iceberg (which was the size of about the size of the state of DE when it split from the shelf in July) has had a previous series of collisions, resulting in larger and smaller fragments.

From yesterday's #IceBridge flight: A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf. After years of anticipation by scientists, a formation the size of DE broke off from Antarctica last year.

"The ice shelves that produce the icebergs are extremely flat and expansive, so we often see nearby tabular icebergs similar to the one seen in the photo", Brooke Medley, NASA's Operation IceBridge deputy project scientist, added over email.

Most people think of icebergs as jagged, frozen mountains with only a fraction of their bulk sitting above the surface of the water, but it turns out that there's actually two kinds of icebergs: tabular and non-tabular.

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