Apr 19, 2019 | Updated: 10:42 AM EDT

Large Iceberg Rift From Antartica Spreads On The Sea, Heading In The Direction of Ice Front

May 04, 2017 07:24 PM EDT

File photo of icebergs breaking away from Antarctica
(Photo : Torsten Blackwood/Getty Images)

A satellite data has revealed that a rift from Antartica has not a second branch floating on the ocean, leading in the direction of the ice front. The iceberg rift, which is believed to be one of the largest icebergs, was reported by the scientists as the significant change since February.

Based on the latest satellite data studied by Swansea University in Wales, the iceberg rift in the Larsen C ice shelf in Antartica is believed to lead to one of the largest icebergs ever recorded by scientists. In an article published by Phys, the new branch of the rift was measured as 15 kilometers long, which is quite the size of Wales.

In the previous year, researchers from the United Kingdom's Project Midas have reported that the iceberg rift was growing fast. Swansea University has reported now that the 20km of the ice in Antartica is keeping the 5,000 square kilometers piece from floating away.

Adrian Luckman, a professor at the Swansea University College of Science and the head of Project Midas, has described the latest findings as significant to the iceberg rift. He said the previous rift tip may not advanced but a new brand of the rift has been initiated, which is approximately 10 kilometers from the previous tip of the Antartica's ice.

"Although the [iceberg] rift length has been static for several months, it has been steadily widening, at rates in excess of a meter per day," Luckman said. He said that this is the first significant change of the rift in Antartica since February. RD Mag has reported that researchers of the study also said that the loss of a piece a quarter would leave the whole shelf vulnerable to breaking up in the future. Larsen C is measured as approximately 350m thick and floats on the seas at the edge of West Antartica.

The MIDAS Project will continue in monitoring the development of the iceberg rift and assess furthermore its ongoing impact on the ice shelf in Antartica. Further updates could be seen on their blog and on their Twitter account.

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