NASA spots mysterious near-perfect rectangle iceberg in Antarctic

23 Octobre, 2018, 13:56 | Auteur: Therese Cote

NASA's ongoing, decades-long survey of polar ice has yielded some truly incredible photographs over the years, but one recent still captured what appears to be a perfectly, nearly impossibly rectangular iceberg.

Nasa had found a piece of floating ice in Antarctica that is so flawless, it looks like it was deliberately cut.

The angular berg is called a tabular iceberg.

Scientists are now taking part in an airborne survey of Earth's ice as part of what is known as Operation IceBridge.

Last year, the iceberg A-68 broke off Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf after years of cracks spreading across the ice - but it's remained "stuck" near the ice shelf.

Tabular icebergs are wide and flat and long - "like sheet cake" - Kelly Brunt, an ice scientist with NASA, told Live Science journal.

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The tweet described the iceberg as having split from the Larsen C ice shelf, or large blocks of ice connected to land but continue to float in the ocean.

The size was hard to guess, Ms Brunt said, but suggested it was likely more than a mile long. They can take more geometrically pleasing shapes than their more rugged, non-tabular counterparts.

Brunt observed that the square-like iceberg appeared new at the time because its edges still looked sharp-signs that wind and water had not done their jobs of eroding the iceberg's surface.

The operation will give a 3D view of the ice at either end of the planet so that they can monitor how much it changes over time.

As with regular icebergs, just 10 percent of its mass is visible in the picture, though the subsurface mass is would look similar to what's visible above.

But it's now on the move, according to Professor Mark Brandon of the Open University - who says the iceberg "will not be stopped easily".

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