Check out these 2 rectangular icebergs

This image of a tabular iceberg was taken while flying past the berg during an Operation IceBridge flight over the northern Antarctic Peninsula on October 16, 2018. Image via NASA/Jeremy Harbeck.

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On October 16, 2018, as NASA’s Operation Icebridge was flying over the northern Antarctic Peninsula doing a routine aerial survey of polar ice, senior support scientist Jeremy Harbeck spotted a very sharp-angled, tabular iceberg – that’s a type of iceberg that’s broad and flat – floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf.

Tabular icebergs typically break off of ice shelves, which are tabular bodies of thick ice. When there is a clean calve, or break-off, of the iceberg, the angles can be close to 90 degrees. Harbeck said in a statement:

I thought it was pretty interesting; I often see icebergs with relatively straight edges, but I’ve not really seen one before with two corners at such right angles like this one had.

The rectangular iceberg appeared to be freshly calved from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf, which in July 2017 released the massive A68 iceberg, a chunk of ice about the size of the state of Delaware.

In a different photo (below), on the same day, Harbeck captured both the edge of that iceberg, and a slightly-less-rectangular iceberg. That image also captures A68 in the distance.

This photo, also taken during Operation IceBridge’s flight over the northern Antarctic Peninsula on October 16, 2018, shows another relatively rectangular iceberg near the above sharp-cornered berg, which is visible behind the plane’s outboard engine. The huge, tabular iceberg A68 is visible in the distance. Image via Jeremy Harbeck/NASA.

Harbeck said:

I was actually more interested in capturing the A68 iceberg that we were about to fly over, but I thought this rectangular iceberg was visually interesting and fairly photogenic, so on a lark, I just took a couple photos.

Bottom line: Two photos from NASA’s Operation IceBridge of rectangular icebergs in Antarctica.


October 28, 2018

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