Satellite images show that the once-huge A-68A iceberg had another shocking experience. Several large cracks were observed in Berg last week, which then split into many parts. These little icebergs could signal the end of the A-68A’s environmental threat to South Korea.
One of the largest icebergs of all time, the A-68A, came off the Larsen-S ice shelf in 2017 and has been under close scrutiny in recent months as it dangerously bypassed the South Georgia Basin in the South Atlantic.
The close proximity of the iceberg to the remote island has raised fears that it will head ashore, affecting the fragile ecosystem that thrives around the island by scratching the seabed or releasing cold freshwater into the surrounding ocean.
In December 2020, the iceberg changed direction as surface currents from the ocean floor, guided by wimimetry, diverted it farther south-east of the island, losing a huge chunk of ice.
Images captured by the Copernicus Satellite Fleet depict the A-68A process during its voyage over the past three years. The latest data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission show that the iceberg suffered further damage in 2021, as a new iceberg was born from the A-68A last week. The small slab immediately named A-68G by the US National Ice Center is about 53 km long and about 18 km wide.
Immediately after that, a large crack appeared, where the A-68G was released, as a result of which two additional ice cubes were frozen almost immediately. A-68H (about 20 km long և 9 km wide) և A-68I (about 30 km long) և 5 km wide at its widest point). Antarctic icebergs are called Antarctic squares, where they were first seen, then a serial number, then, if the iceberg is broken, a sequential letter.
The A-68A main iceberg, once the largest in the world, is now only 60 km long and 22 km wide. The collective group of icebergs seems to be falling apart. The A-68H is moving north, about 130 km from southern Georgia. At present, the main iceberg A-68A seems to be moving south, currently 225 km from southern Georgia. This latest development from the Ving Index may indicate that the Bergs are likely to travel far from the island without endangering the island’s wildlife.
Optical images of the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, although revealing great detail of the A-68A, are only available in cloudy conditions. Sentinel-3 և Soon Sentinel-6 radiolimeter radiometer measurements can track the trajectory of glaciers և they և are used to estimate the geometric ocean currents that carry the A-68A and its children on their journey. Sentinel-1 radar radiolocation does not affect the clouds; it is important to reverse the splitting of the A-68A.
The map below shows the different locations of the fort during its three-year journey. The map shows that during the first two years of its freedom, the A-68 was moving slowly, disrupted by sea ice. But moving in relatively open waters, the speed of the iceberg increased significantly. The map also includes historical traces of icebergs based on data from a number of satellites, including ESA’s ERS-1 և ERS-2 as an Antarctic ice sheet track database.