Antarctic iceberg moves closer to South Georgia. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows a massive iceberg moving toward the island of South Georgia. Antarctic iceberg A-68A first broke away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in July of 2017.
Experts all over the world are watching to see what will happen next. The iceberg is approaching the remote island in an area where the waters are shallow enough that the ice could snag the seafloor and become grounded. If the ice becomes stranded, it could negatively impact the local wildlife, including penguins that depend on the shallow waters of the island’s submarine shelf to access food.
Klaus Strübing, a scientist with the International Ice Charting Group (IICWG), thinks the iceberg may already be grounded. As of December 13, part of the iceberg was in waters just 76 meters deep, reported Strübing. However, it is not yet known if iceberg A-68A will stall on the shelf, or if ocean currents may carry it back out to sea and around the island. Antarctic iceberg moves closer to South Georgia
For more than three years, Strübing has used radar images from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellites to track A-68A. He believes that studying the drift of A-68A in detail could help scientists learn more about ocean dynamics in the region, while improving models of the paths of drifting icebergs.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer