Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

Iceberg: Antarctica loses Chicago-sized chunk of ice

Iceberg: Antarctica is somewhat smaller this week, as the frozen continent's Pine Island Glacier calved off a massive iceberg on Monday.

Image

An aerial shot of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier. On July 8, 2013, a huge piece of the glacier's ice shelf (the portion that floats on the water) broke off to form a new iceberg.

Angelika Humbert/Alfred-Wegener-Institut

About these ads

A massive iceberg, larger than the city of Chicago, broke off of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier on Monday (July 8), and is now floating freely in the Amundsen Sea, according to a team of German scientists.

The newborn iceberg measures about 278 square miles (720 square kilometers), and was seen by TerraSAR-X, an earth-observing satellite operated by the German Space Agency (DLR). Scientists with NASA's Operation IceBridgefirst discovered a giant crack in the Pine Island Glacier in October 2011, as they were flying over and surveying the sprawling ice sheet.

At that time, the fissure spanned about 15 miles (24 km) in length and 164 feet (50 meters) in width, according to researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. In May 2012, satellite images revealed a second rift had formed near the northern side of the first crack.

Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz
 

"As a result of these cracks, one giant iceberg broke away from the glacier tongue," Angelika Humbert, a glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, said in a statement. [Photo Gallery: Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier Cracks]

Next

Page:   1   |   2   |   3

Share