Iceberg #A83 breaks from the Burnt Ice Shelf Credit: British Antarctic Survey

ANTARCTICA – An iceberg roughly the size of Las Vegas has split off the Brunt Ice Shelf after a sudden crack appeared just a few weeks ago. According to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), who operates the nearby Halley Research Station, the break occurred on the morning of Monday, May 20.

This break is the third major iceberg calving in this area in the past four years, calving after a near 8.7 mile long chasm formed at a 90 degree angle from the existing Halloween Crack.

Drone flight over the “Halloween Crack”

The Halley Research Station was moved around 14 miles inland of Chasm-1 began to widen in 2016, and the station has only been staffed between November and March since 2017 (the antarctic summer). While nobody is there presently, a crew will return this November.

This calving was expected since the appearance of Halloween Crack eight years ago and reduces the total area of the ice shelf to its smallest extent since monitoring began. Tabular iceberg calving is part of the natural behaviour of ice shelves but often causes large changes in ice shelf geometry and can impact local ocean circulation. Our science and operational teams continue to monitor the ice shelf in real-time to ensure it is safe, and to maintain the delivery of the science we undertake at Halley.” – Dr Oliver Marsh

The breaking of this ~146 square mile iceberg, currently named #A83, is not thought to be a result of climate change.

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