Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Iceberg shaped like a colossal sheet cake drifts through Antarctic

Theresa Hayes | 23 October, 2018, 22:53

A huge, flat iceberg with ideal, right angles was spotted on October 16 by NASA's Operation IceBridge floating among sea ice just off the Larsen C ice shelf.

The ice shelf is about 1,100ft thick and floats on the edge of West Antarctica.

NASA photographed a near-perfect rectangular iceberg in Antarctica last week, which looked more like a smooth skating rink than a block of ice.

Scientists are now taking part in an airborne survey of Earth's ice as part of what is known as Operation IceBridge.

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.

The calving of the huge iceberg reduced the size of the ice shelf by 12%.

Brunt observed that the square-like iceberg appeared new at the time because its edges still looked sharp-signs that wind and water had not done their jobs of eroding the iceberg's surface. Larsen C itself calved an even larger iceberg in 1986, Shuman said.

But how does the iceberg form its ideal shape?

Although it's often said that there are no straight lines or flawless 90-degree angles in nature, they do happen, albeit rarely.

The striking iceberg isn't the only perfectly shaped formation scientists came across on their flight over the Atlantic last week, with NASA also sharing images online of a triangular berg found in the Weddell Sea.

According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, ice shelves are permanent floating sheets of ice that connect to a land mass.

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square", she added in an interview to Live Science. This iceberg looks pretty fresh, she said.