Iceberg shaped like a colossal sheet cake drifts through Antarctic

Christopher Davidson
October 23, 2018

The mysterious slab-like iceberg, up to a mile wide, was spotted near the Larsen C ice shelf, and the sharp angles hint that it broke off very recently.

It looks so ideal that it seems Photoshopped - but a odd perfectly rectangular iceberg near Antarctica is a natural phenomenon, NASA scientists say.

It's described as a "tabular iceberg" - with steep sides and a flat top, typically formed by "snapping off" from an ice shelf, experts say.

Nasa had found a piece of floating ice in Antarctica that is so ideal, it looks like it was deliberately cut.

The image was taken during an IceBridge flight which is a survey from the air of the planet's polar ice that gives a 3D view of the ice providing information on how it changes over time.

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Many of thelargest icebergs on record have formed this way.

However, tabular icebergs are vast slabs of ice with a flat top and vertical sides that form by "calving" or splintering off a much larger ice shelf. "It probably wouldn't flip over", she said, but it could still crack and break up.

The incredibly clean edges indicate how new this iceberg is, as the wind and the sea have yet to erode its flanks. I should think we will see some interesting collisions with the ice shelf in the next few months'. They split from the edges of ice shelves - large blocks of ice, connected to land but floating in the water surrounding iced-over places like Antarctica.

A huge crack has been spreading across the Antarctic Lasen C ice shelf for many years, but it began accelerating late last year.

The researchers wrote, 'Computer modeling suggests that the remaining ice could become unstable, and that Larsen C may follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event'.

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