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World's largest iceberg set to disappear after 18-year-long journey

Jun 17, 2018 09:14 IST
World's largest iceberg set to disappear after 18-year-long journey

The world’s largest iceberg, which broke away from Antarctica's Ross ice shelf 18 years ago, could be nearing the end of its voyage, as per NASA observation.

The icerberg B-15, which measured about 296 kilometres long and 37 kilometres wide when it first broke away in March 2000 has since then broken into numerous smaller bergs, most of which have melted away.

Just four pieces remain that meet the minimum size requirement, at least 37 kilometres to be tracked by the US National Ice Center.

When astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) shot a photograph of the iceberg on May 22, 2018, B-15Z measured just about 18 km long and 9 km wide.

 World's largest iceberg set to disappear after 18-year-long journey

In a statement NASA said that the iceberg is still well within the traceable size, however, it may not be traceable if it splinters into further smaller pieces.

A large fracture is visible along the centre of the berg and smaller pieces are seen to be splintering off from the edges.

 

The melting and breakup would not be surprising, given the berg's long journey and northerly location.

When the May 2018 photograph was acquired, the berg was about 277 kilometres northwest of the South Georgia islands. Icebergs that make it this far have been known to rapidly melt and end their life cycles.

 

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