This rectangular iceberg in Antarctica is near ideal

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 24, 2018

Well here's something you don't see everyday: an iceberg so unbelievably geometric in shape you'd think it was deliberately carved with a big chainsaw.

Nasa has released a striking photo of a rectangular iceberg floating in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.

Scientists are now taking part in an airborne survey of Earth's ice as part of what is known as Operation IceBridge.

Such objects are not unknown, however, and even have a name - tabular icebergs.

Whether it's the recent tabular iceberg captured by NASA off the Larson C Ice Shelf, or the Wilkins blocks above, the method of their creation is the same.

They're usually formed when breaking off from ice shelves; in this case, it likely came from the deteriorating Larsen C-the same shelf that saw a 2,200 square-mile, trillion-ton iceberg break away previous year.

"We get two types of icebergs: We get the type that everyone can envision in their head that sank the Titanic, and they look like prisms or triangles at the surface and you know they have a insane subsurface", Kelly Brunt, an ice scientist with NASA, told Live Science. They form in Antarctica, he says, "where we have these really wide floating ice shelves connected to land".

Operation IceBridge is on a mission to measure and monitor polar ice and document changes over time. We get the type that everyone can envision in their head that sank the Titanic, and they look like prisms or triangles at the surface and you know they have a insane subsurface. They can take more geometrically pleasing shapes than their more rugged, non-tabular counterparts.

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square".

'Sentinel-1 SAR satellite imagery from 29 August 2018 shows that to the north of the iceberg the wind is pushing the sea ice northwards faster than the iceberg is rotating.

"And then you have what are called "tabular icebergs".

As with all icebergs, the part visible above the surface is just the top 10 percent of its mass.

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