NASA Researchers Discover 70-mile-long Crack In Antarctic Ice Shelf

2016-12-08 02:38:37

Credit: NASA/John Sonntag

Credit: NASA/John Sonntag

NASA is keeping an eye on a 70-mile long rift in an Antarctica ice shelf that could eventually produce a Delaware-sized iceberg and contribute toward raised sea levels.

The dramatic NASA photograph taken in November by researchers involved in the agency’s IceBridge Mission shows a crack in the frozen continent’s “Larsen C” ice shelf. It is located on the eastern coast of the northern Antarctic Peninsula, which is nearly 70 miles in length and 300 feet in width, and around one third of a mile in depth.

Glaciologist Daniel McGrath, of Colorado State University, said the crack cuts all the way through to the base of the ice shelf. However, it doesn’t yet reach completely across it. Researchers have estimated that it can cause a giant iceberg to calve off sometime between 1 to 5 years form now.