About one year ago, a monster iceberg split from the Antarctica continent’s long peninsula. However, for the last 13 months, the trillion-ton ice block only pivoted and turned into place. Now, the monster iceberg is on the move, finally, as its southern end got caught by the ocean’s currents. Furthermore, as the summer season is coming to the Southern Hemisphere, the scientists predict the block of ice would drift northwards.
“After more than a year of moving to and fro near its parent ice shelf, iceberg A-68, which calved from the Larsen C Ice Shelf on 12 July 2017, has finally escaped,” said Adrian Luckman from the Swansea University, in the UK.
“Until recently, the iceberg was hemmed in by dense sea-ice in the east and shallow waters in the north. Now, a strong foehn wind blowing eastwards off the ice shelf in early September has pushed the southerly end of the iceberg out into the Weddell Gyre,” the researcher added.
The monster iceberg in Antarctica, A-68, will slowly move northwards as it got caught by the ocean’s currents
“The persistent clockwise drift of ocean waters and floating sea-ice flowing north past the Larsen Ice Shelf has rotated A-68 out into the Weddell Sea. Here, it is much more free to begin moving away and be carried further north into warmer waters,” concluded Adrian Luckman.
The A-68 monster iceberg will be the target of two expeditions, one led by Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, while the other will be conducted by the UK’s icebreaker SA Agulhas II of the Scott Polar Research Institute.
Over the time, A-68 iceberg divided into three pieces of different sizes, one of which, A-68b was big enough to get on the US National Ice Center’s list of the world’s most massive ice blocks of the planet.
In short, A-68, a 150 km long and 55 km wide monster iceberg in Antarctica, got caught by the ocean’s current and is finally on the move after spending its last months pivoting and turning in place.