Huge Antarctic Iceberg finally breaks free – Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Huge Antarctic Iceberg finally breaks free
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Huge Antarctic Iceberg finally breaks free – it is has been threatening to break from some time

After months of ‘hanging by a thread’ a vast iceberg the size of Norfolk has finally broken off Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf. Around 30 metres of this 190m thick block of ice sits above the sea surface.

The iceberg broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf, scientists at the University of Swansea in Britain said. The iceberg is described as weighing 1 trillion tons (1.12 trillion U.S. tons).

The process, known as calving, occurred in the last few days, when a 5,800-square-kilometer (2,240-square-mile) section broke away.

Scientists now have opportunities to study the stability of the remaining ice shelf, as well as understanding how new biological communities might occupy the newly exposed ocean and underlying seabed areas.

At more than 6,000 km² in area, the new iceberg represents more than 10% of the ice shelf.  This calving is dramatic but normal in the life cycle of an ice shelf.  However, scientists will be looking to determine if loss of the iceberg will have any impact on the stability of the remaining ice shelf.

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