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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Close Encounter with a Tabular Iceberg: Mark Seth Lender

Published: July 16, 2017



A massive tabular iceberg (Photo: Mark Seth Lender)

Living on Earth's Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender describes an encounter with a tabular iceberg similar (though much smaller) to the one that recently broke off of the Larsen C ice sheet.

Just off the Antarctic Peninsula at 63°0'58" S 57°40'52" W, I encountered a tabular iceberg [an iceberg that looks like a huge tabletop] that I believe to have been a fragment of the Larsen B Ice Shelf that broke up 2002. But “fragment” doesn’t do justice to what I saw. Picture New York’s Central Park, made of ice, and 120 feet high.


Close-up of a tabular iceberg off the coast of Antarctica (Photo: Mark Seth Lender)

To give you an idea of the scale, the Antarctic Petrels soaring in front of the leading edge of the berg have a wingspan of one meter! In order to take a photo of an entire side, I had to wait until our ship had steamed some miles past. The tabular iceberg that just separated from Larsen C is many times larger than the giant pictured here.


Antarctica’s major ice shelf areas (Photo: Scambos et al. 2007/ NSIDC Mosaic of Antarctica)

 

NASA: “Massive Iceberg Breaks Off from Antarctica”
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/massive-iceberg-breaks-off-from-antarctica

Mosaic of Antarctica from the National Snow & Ice Data Center
http://nsidc.org/data/moa

Mark Seth Lender’s website
http://marksethlender.com

Back to Field Notes on the Cheetah's Need for Open Space


 

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