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On the recent calving of icebergs from the Ross ice shelf

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The year 2000 has witnessed the calving of several remarkably large icebergs in the Ross and Weddell seas of Antarctica, including the calving of B-l 5, possibly the largest iceberg yet to be observed. Here we present satellite imagery that records the calving, and precursor events leading up to the detachment of B-l 5 from the Ross Ice Shelf in late March 2000. These images suggest that the evolution of a network of large rifts on the ice shelf over the decade prior to calving has controlled both the time of calving and the giant size of B-15. What controls this evolution in turn remains a mystery.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Antarctic Meteorological Research Center, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA 2: Byrd Polar Research Center and Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 3: National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA 4: Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA 5: Byrd Polar Research Center and Department of Geography, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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