Earth  ID: 12633

Crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf

An iceberg about the size of the state of Delaware split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf sometime between July 10 and July 12. The calving of the massive new iceberg was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Larsen C, a floating platform of glacial ice on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, is the fourth largest ice shelf ringing Earth’s southernmost continent. In 2014, a crack that had been slowly growing into the ice shelf for decades suddenly started to spread northwards, creating the nascent iceberg. The growth of the crack has been tracked by Landsat satellites, which are jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Now that the close to 2240 square-mile (5800 square kilometers) chunk of ice has broken away, the Larsen C shelf area has shrunk by approximately 10 percent.


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Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Producer
Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Editor
Maria-Jose Vinas Garcia (Telophase): Writer
Christopher Shuman (UMBC JCET): Scientist
Kelly Brunt (Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center/University of Maryland): Scientist
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This item is part of these series:
Geophysical Changes Over Time
Larsen Ice Shelf

SVS >> Ice Shelf
SVS >> Iceberg
SVS >> Larsen
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets >> Icebergs
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version