Daily US Times: Strong currents have taken hold of a massive Antarctic iceberg, dubbed A68A, that is on a collision course with South Georgia, causing it to lose a major chunk of mass and shift direction, scientist Geraint Tarling tracking its journey said on Friday.
This week, as it approached the western shelf edge of the south Atlantic island, it encountered strong currents, causing the iceberg to pivot nearly 180 degrees, said Geraint Tarling, a biological oceanographer with the British Antarctic Survey.
Tarling said: “You can almost imagine it as a handbrake turn for the iceberg because the currents were so strong.”
That was when the iceberg appeared to clip the shelf edge, and caused a large piece to break apart. That new piece already has a name: A68D.
Scientists have been watching the massive iceberg for weeks. It was last measured at 4,200 sq km, rode a fast-track current towards the island.
Researchers and scientists feared that, as the massive iceberg closed in on the wildlife-rich island, it could grind into the seabed, disrupting underwater ecosystems. They were also worried that it might block penguins making their way into the sea for food.
The original A68A iceberg was about 50km (31 miles) as of Friday, from the island’s west coast. However, it appeared to be heading south-east towards another current that would probably carry it away from the shelf edge before sweeping it back around toward the island’s eastern shelf area.