Monday, 19 November, 2018

Mother Nature with a chainsaw? Perfectly rectangular iceberg dazzles online

Stock image  Pixabay Stock image Pixabay
Theresa Hayes | 24 October, 2018, 05:52

But for now, it's in near-perfect shape - even if we can't quite see the entire slab.

It's described as a "tabular iceberg" - with steep sides and a flat top, typically formed by "snapping off" from an ice shelf, experts say.

They shared a striking image of the giant block, known as a tabular berg, after it was captured off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, near the Larsen C ice shelf, according to The Sun. "And then you have what are called 'tabular icebergs.'" Kelly Brunt, an ice scientist with NASA and the University of Maryland, told Live Science. They form in Antarctica, he says, "where we have these really wide floating ice shelves connected to land".

"We get two types of icebergs: We get the type that everyone can envision in their head that sank the Titanic, and they look like prisms or triangles at the surface and you know they have a insane subsurface".

Speaking to LiveScience, University of Maryland Earth scientist Kelly Brunt compared calving events to a long fingernail that eventually snaps off at the end; the process often results in seemingly ideal geometric edges.

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

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square".

The size was hard to guess, Ms Brunt said, but suggested it was likely more than a mile long.

"In addition, IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of Earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise".

And, as with all icebergs, the part visible on the surface comprises just a small fraction of the object's mass - in this case about 10%.

From yesterday's #IceBridge flight:Triangular iceberg surrounded by many different types of sea ice, off the Larsen ice shelf in the Weddell Sea.