Antarctic Ice Crack Continues To Grow

Posted: Jan 20 2017, 4:27am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Antarctic Ice Crack Continues to Grow
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  • Large Faultline in Antarctic Ice increases in Length by Many Miles
 

A pretty large faultline in the Antarctic ice shelf increased in length by many miles recently.

A rift that is more than a 100 miles in length grew by another 6 miles in the preceding two weeks in the Antarctic continent. This supplements another 11 mile growth that took place during the last two weeks of 2016.

This one meant a 17 mile forward motion in less than 30 days time span. This rift extended in the Larsen C ice shelf about adjacent to the terminating borders of the ocean.

However, any huge pieces have not been left stranded and floating in the surrounding waters. At least, not yet as far as the scientists’ surveys suggest. 

About 12 miles of ice still remain attached to the main piece of land, according to Washingotn Post. However, when the breakage and drifting do occur, a hefty portion of ice will float away into the surrounding waters. Images of the ice shelf were taken via satellite.

The experts contend that ultimately a piece of ice as large as Delaware could break away from the mainland. This would mark a milestone in the history of the Antarctic continent. Seldom do such large pieces of it venture forth into the open seas.  

The virtual landscape of Antarctica will be rendered different thanks to this anomalous development. Destabilization of the ice shelf is certain if this occurs.

Sea levels at the coasts will increase by four inches if this piece of ice eventually melts. Yet not all the experts are unanimous in their opinions regarding this matter. With each day that progresses, the scientists are closely watching the developments along this front.

The breakage and floating off could occur any day in the future. Since the rift has entered into the softer suture zone ice from the Cole Peninsula, the predictions cannot be made with much accuracy. 

The Cole Peninsula is an outgrowth that resembles a door-knob and it protrudes out into the sea. It is the place where the rift ends. The suture zone is present here too.

It comprises of more flexible ice and it is not liable to crack so easily. The scientists are monitoring the whole thing very closely. As for the information that is being brought home, it invokes a feeling of dread since the crack seems most likely to take place willy-nilly. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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