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An entire year has passed since a Delaware-size iceberg broke away, in dramatic fashion, from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica. But it hasn't traveled far. Instead, dense sea ice in the Weddell Sea has kept the iceberg close to its former home, according to newly acquired satellite imagery.
But even though this icy giant — dubbed A-68 — is a homebody, it's still taken a beating since it calved from the ice shelf on July 12, 2017. Ocean currents have pushed the gigantic iceberg around, as have tides and winds.
Pieces - Icebergs - Area - Slivers - May
These shattered pieces aren't large enough to be considered separate icebergs, but the total area of the slivers lost in May is equal to the size of a small city, according to the MIDAS blog. Adrian Luckman, a professor of geology at Swansea University in the United Kingdom who is part of Project MIDAS, tweeted a GIF of the splintering iceberg shortly after it happened.
The combined size of these slivers may sound large, but it's nothing compared with the girth of A-68. The beast weighs more than a trillion tons and contains enough ice to cover all 50 U.S. states (including Hawaii and Alaska) with 4.6 inches (11.6 centimeters) of ice, according to Climate Central. At 2,240 square miles (5,800 square kilometers), it's the sixth largest known iceberg since record keeping began, the MIDAS blog reported.
None - Activity - Space - Agency - ESA
However, none of this activity is unexpected, said the European Space Agency (ESA), which operates the Sentinel-1 satellite that's monitoring the iceberg. After A-68 broke off last year, the agency noted that "The iceberg's progress is difficult to predict. It may remain in the area for decades, but if it breaks up, parts may drift north into warmer waters."
The ESA added that...
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