An iceberg measuring 1,550 square kilometers (598 sq. miles) — roughly the size of Greater London — broke away from the Brunt Ice Shelf near a research station in Antarctica on Sunday, January 22, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said on Monday.
A “major crack” called Chasm-1 that was detected a decade ago in the shelf’s 150-meter-thick ice was “now fully extended across the ice shelf,” the BAS said. “This calving is a natural part of the life cycle of the ice shelf, not related to climate change,” they added.
In 2016, in preparation for the calving, the UK’s Halley VI Research Station was moved 26 kilometers (16.15 miles) away from Chasm-1 as the crack began to widen, the BAS said.
The research station’s 21 staff were “working to maintain the power supplies and facilities that keep the scientific experiments operating remotely through the winter,” the BAS said. “Currently they are unaffected, and their work will continue until they are collected by aircraft around February 6,” they added. Credit: British Antarctic Survey via Storyful