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The breaking of a huge iceberg, monitored by Copernicus

on 02 October 2019

A huge iceberg has broken off the Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica, between 22 and 25 September as estimated. Dubbed D28, the iceberg is around 1 600 sq km — about the size of Greater London. Approximately 30 km wide and 60 km long, it is estimated to weigh over 300 billion tonnes.

Scientists say that this is the biggest calving of the Amery Ice Shelf in 50 years.

Amery is the third largest ice shelf in Antarctica and is a plays the role of draining channel for the east of the continent.

The name comes from a classification system run belonging to the US National Ice Center, which divides the Antarctic into quadrants. The D quadrant covers the longitudes 90 degrees East to zero degrees, the Prime Meridian.

Wind and wind currents will take D28 west. It is likely to take several years for it to disintegrate and completely melt. Satellites will continue to monitor and track the iceberg, as it poses a threat for ships in the vicinity.

Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, the animation shows before and after images of the berg breaking away.

2019 10 Ghetar Image A

Image credit: EuropeanSpaceAgency, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO