Iceberg Size of Delaware Poised to Break Off From Antarctica
An iceberg the size of Delaware is poised to break away from Antarctica, an event which may lead to the collapse of a massive ice shelf on the continent, according to researchers.
Scientists say that a 1,900 square-mile section of the "Larsen C" ice shelf is now only connected to the main body by a 12-mile section of ice. Researchers monitoring a huge crack in the ice discovered that it had grown rapidly during the second half of 2016 — increasing in size by 11 miles in December alone.
Scientists have been monitoring the rift on the ice shelf for decades. Researchers told NBC News that the calving event was "part of the natural evolution of the ice shelf," but added there could be a link to changing climate, though they had no direct evidence of it.
In response to expressions of concern on social media, MIDAS scientists responded that there was no need for alarm. "This is a fairly normal event, although it is spectacular and quite rare
and perhaps one of the natural mechanisms at work here is described by this article (albeit not a journal published one)
Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf Break-Up driven by Geological Heat Flow Not Climate Change http://climatechangedispatch.com/antarc ... te-change/
The Larsen Ice Shelf lies in and among: twenty-six semi-active (non-erupting but heat-flowing) land volcanoes, four actively erupting land volcanoes, two proven semi-active seafloor volcano (seamounts), and a proven actively heat flowing major fault system named the West Antarctic Rift.
Not shown on this map are known seafloor hydro-thermal vents (hot seafloor geysers), likely heat emitting fractures, and prominent cone-shaped seafloor mountains that are most likely seamounts (ocean volcanoes).
This geological information paints a very clear and compelling picture that the Larsen Ice Shelf is positioned in an extremely active geological setting. In fact a strong case can be made that the Larsen Ice Shelf owes its very existence to a down-faulted low valley that has acted as a glacial ice container