Giant Iceberg Forming Within Days

1Iceberg the size of Delaware Forming

A rift in an Antarctic ice shelf will soon create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, according to scientists.

In the last six days, the rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf has grown by 17 kilometers (10.5 miles). It is now 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the edge of the ice. Until recently, the rift was running parallel to the edge of the ice shelf, but its direction has now changed.

“The rift tip appears to have turned significantly towards the ice front, indicating that the time of calving (breaking away) is probably very close,” said Adrian Luckman, lead researcher in UK-based research team Project MIDAS, which has been monitoring the ice shelf since 2014, in a statement.

“There appears to be very little to prevent the iceberg from breaking away completely,” he said. At around 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles)– roughly the size of the state of Delaware– the iceberg will be one of the largest ever recorded.

“When it calves, the Larsen C Ice Shelf will lose more than 10% of its area,” wrote Luckman on the Project MIDAS website in January. “This event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula.”