Larsen C Ice Shelf rift, Antarctica, November 2016

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift, Antarctica, November 2016

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Credit: John Sonntag, NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Larsen C Ice Shelf rift, November 2016, aerial photograph. Wide view of a rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, seen from NASA's DC-8 research aircraft as part of an Operation IceBridge flight. The rift in Larsen C measures about 100 metres wide and is about half a kilometre deep, passing completely through to the bottom of the ice shelf. The rift is long and growing longer, but does not yet reach across the entire shelf. At that point, Larsen C will shed a very large iceberg, about 6000 square kilometres in area. The Larsen Ice Shelf extends along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, in the Weddell Sea. Operation IceBridge is a NASA project that monitors polar ice cover using aircraft instead of satellites. It was introduced in 2009 as a replacement for the malfunctioning ICESat satellite. Photographed on 10 November 2016.

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