March 20, 2023


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It was Halloween in Antarctica.  We saw a big change on the glacier from space!

It was Halloween in Antarctica. We saw a big change on the glacier from space!

Halloween crack It was first observed on October 31, 2016. It is located in the coastal zone of the Weddell Sea, where the ice sheet is located on the sea shelf, which is still shallow here. Due to this arrangement, a huge mass of ice is trapped and does not flow into the ocean.

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as it turns out The crack has been stable since the moment of discovery. However, this is an obvious stability, because the crack violated the integrity of a large glacier. The area five times larger than Malta is “hanging by a thread” – moreover, it is connected to a mass of ice by an isthmus 600 meters wide.

Halloween in Antarctica? Glacier “break” found in satellite images

Scientists expect that when the 1,750 square kilometers of ice are broken, it is only a matter of time. The nature of shelf glaciers, and that’s what we’re talking about here, is that they flow across the ocean, as they are displaced by the continental ice sheet.

Six years after the “Halloween rift” was discovered, another routine photo was taken to monitor the situation on the world’s coldest continent. The Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite captured the icy desert over the Weddell Sea on October 25.

In the photo posted on the profile European Space Agency We can see a crack drawn red and a narrow strip of still intact ice holding this part of the ice shelf together.

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“Halloween crack” It also proves to us how dynamic processes can be in Antarctica, which seem to be nothing more than land freezing and ice. Every potential breakaway from the glacier is monitored by multiple agencies. In order to anticipate the possible consequences of such events, including the sudden rise in sea level.

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