Antarctica About to Calve Massive Iceberg – Photos and Video

Mike Schuler
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February 2, 2012

This image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NAS’s Terra spacecraft was acquired Nov. 13, 2011, and covers an area of 27 by 32 miles (44 by 52 kilometers), and is located near 74.9 degrees south latitude, 101.1 degrees west longitude. Photo: NASA

In recognition of the start of the 2012 Ice Season, which typically runs from February through July, we bring you this photo showing a massive crack across the Pine Island Glacier, a major ice stream that drains the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The crack was first discovered in mid-October when NASA scientists working studying the Pine Island Glacier saw a major rift in the ice during a an exploratory flyover.

Scientists say that the crack, which extends for 19 miles and is 260 feet wide by 195 feet deep, will eventually extend all the way across the glacier and calve a giant iceberg measuring some 350 square miles.

VIDEO: NASA scientist discover the crack in the Pine Island Glacier


Close up of the crack in the Pine Island Glacier. Photo: NASA

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