Huge iceberg travels 150 km after breaking off: first official images
The British Antarctic Survey has released the first aerial images of the large A81 iceberg that had broken off from the Brunt ice shelf , in Antarctica, last Jan. 22.
It is a huge mass that covers about 1550 square kilometers and would have currently traveled at least 150 kilometers along the coastline, accompanied by other smaller icebergs that have detached in the meantime.
The detachment of the A81 iceberg was expected, explain experts who are constantly monitoring it. It is heading south, like other previous icebergs.
The iceberg that broke off last January in Antarctica
The British Antarctic Survey has released the first aerial images of the large iceberg A81 that had broken off from the Brunt ice shelf , in Antarctica, last Jan. 22. It is a huge mass that covers about 1550 square kilometers and would have currently traveled at least 150 kilometers along the coastline, accompanied by other smaller icebergs that have since broken off.
The official images of the A81 iceberg
Images of the moving iceberg were captured by researchers leaving the Halley research station at the end of the summer campaign. Today, for the first time, they were released with an official video.
An expected posting
According to researchers at the British Antarctic Survey who are tracking A81 iceberg, its calving had already been predicted. Glaciologist Oliver Marsh explained that this was made possible by monitoring the Brunt ice shelf and the chasms that have opened within it for more than a decade.
In particular, the detachment seemed a foregone conclusion when science and operations teams first observed the widening of Chasm-1 in 2012. Thanks to high-precision GPS instruments and satellite data, it was then decided to move the Halley research station inland, precisely to protect it for possible detachment.
Iceberg travels south
Following detachment, the A81 iceberg has turned around and is now moving southward. Experts expect it to follow the same path taken by previous icebergs, pushed westward by the Antarctic Coastal Current.
This is not the first time a large iceberg has broken off in the region
The A81 iceberg is the second large iceberg to break off in the region in the past two years: the first to break off was the A76 iceberg , covering about 3200 square kilometers, which was formed in May 2021.