A joint Australian - French study has discovered the calving of a large iceberg from the Mertz Glacier in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The iceberg, 78 kilometres long with a surface area of 2,500 square kilometres, broke off the Mertz Glacier after being rammed by another iceberg, 97 kilometres long. The joint Australian - French study, undertaken at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) in Hobart, and in France, was initiated in 2007 during the International Polar Year to study the ’tongue’ of the Mertz Glacier and the ’calving’ of icebergs from it. The Mertz Glacier had a large crack in it for two decades. A second crack developed opposite the first in the early part of the 21st century. The collaboration studied whether these two cracks would eventually meet, and the processes that would lead to the calving of an iceberg.
For a description on the calving event, images and contact details for scientists working on this study read the media release below.