Vast Iceberg Dislodged in Antarctic Collision

The new iceberg and the tongue of the Mertz Glacier (Photo © Australian Antarctic Division)

Environment News Service
HOBART, Tasmania, Australia, February 26, 2010

A massive iceberg has broken away from the Mertz Glacier in the Australian Antarctic Territory after another enormous iceberg, B9B, collided with the tongue of the glacier, a joint Australian- French study has discovered. The new iceberg and the one that rammed it loose could together affect world ocean circulation, scientists said today.

Satellite imagery from the European Space Agency’s ENVISAT shows the iceberg separation occurred on February 12 and 13, but the discovery was just announced today by the researchers at a news conference in Hobart.

One of the largest icebergs ever to be monitored by scientists, the giant piece of floating ice measures 48 miles long and 22 miles wide. It has a surface area of 965 square miles and an average thickness of 1,300 feet.

In metric terms, the new iceberg is 78 kilometers long overall and 33 to 39 km wide with an average thickness of 400 meters.

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