The largest iceberg A23a on Earth has started active drifting along the shores of Antarctica.
The largest iceberg on the planet, grounded 30 years ago, has started active drifting at a speed of over 150 kilometers per month along the shores of Antarctica, the press service of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) reported.
"Specialists of the Center for Ice and Hydrometeorological Information (CHMI) of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute are monitoring the progress of the largest iceberg A23a on the planet, where the Soviet seasonal scientific base Druzhnaya-1 was previously located." At the beginning of the Antarctic winter, more than 30 years after its separation from the Antarctic glacier, it began active drifting at a speed of more than 150 kilometers per month. Currently, the iceberg is moving into the Weddell Sea along the coast of Antarctica," the report said.
Icebergs can pose a potential danger to commercial and fishing vessels, so scientists are constantly monitoring their movement.
According to the nomenclature of the U.S. National Ice Center, iceberg A23a is the largest in the world. Its area is about 4.17 thousand square kilometers, which is more than twice the area of St. Petersburg.
In September 1986, there was a breakup of the outer edge of the Filchner Ice Shelf. Three giant icebergs formed in the place of the breakup, one of them hosted the seasonal base Druzhnaya-1 of the Soviet Antarctic Expedition, which was organized by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. In February 1987 specialists of the Institute landed on the iceberg and safely evacuated the equipment. Later the largest iceberg ran aground near the southern edge of the submarine Berkner Bank located in the southern part of the Weddell Sea and to the north of the outer edge of the Filchner Ice Shelf, thus actually turning into an ice island for many decades.
As it was specified in the AARI, the future of iceberg A23a depends on many factors: the impact of currents, underwater relief ledges, meteorological factors, but in the end the days of the iceberg's life are numbered - it will be taken to "clean water", most likely, already this year.
Based in St. Petersburg, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) is the world's leading scientific center for the study of the Earth's polar regions. The Institute conducts the entire cycle of work in high latitudes in the interests of the Russian Federation and commercial companies.