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Giant iceberg from Antarctica threatens shipping worldwide

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British experts are monitoring a huge iceberg that has come off from the Pine Island glacier in Antarctica. It measures roughly 700 square kilometres, about the size of Singapore, US space agency NASA reports.

Professor Grant Bigg, a leading authority on icebergs from Sheffield University, has been studying the berg since it was located by a German satellite last July.




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Major iceberg cracks off Pine Island Glacier, Antarctic

November 18, 2013


This article says a new iceberg,  B-31,  broke off the front of Pine Island Glacier between the 9-11th of November 2013. 


"Between November 9 – 11, 2013, a large iceberg separated from the calving front of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctic. New satellite images now show that Iceberg B-31, estimated to be 35 by 20 km, is moving away from the coast.

Scientists first detected a rift in the glacier in October 2011. By July 2013, infrared and radar images showed that the crack had cut completely across the ice shelf to the southwestern edge. New images now show that Iceberg B-31 is finally moving away from the coast, with open water between the iceberg and the edge of Pine Island Glacier."






A team of scientists from Sheffield and Southampton universities will track the 700 square-kilometer chunk of ice and try to predict its path using satellite data.


This is the same iceberg, They spotted the crack in Oct of 2011 and it took two years, until November of 2013 for the iceberg to actually break off and start to move away. Here I had the impression it had broken off already, as they talked about it possibly blocking shipping lanes, like it had already moved out into the water.



But now I am going to add this little bit of info.


Volcano discovery hints at fire below ice in Antarctica

November 17, 2013

By Geoffrey Mohan


"A volcano may be stirring more than a half-mile beneath a major ice sheet in Antarctica, raising the possibility of faster base melting that could ultimately affect climate.

Seismologists working in a mountainous area of Marie Byrd Land in western Antarctica detected a swarm of low-magnitude earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 similar to those that can precede volcanic eruptions, according to a study published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience.

The area of activity lies close to the youngest in a chain of volcanoes that formed over several million years, and the characteristics and depth of the seismic events are consistent with those found in volcanic areas of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, the Pacific Northest, Hawaii and Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, the study concludes.

The tight focus of the 1,370 tremors and their deep, long-period waves helped researchers rule out ice quakes, glacial motion or tectonic activity as causes. So, too, did their apparent depth: At 15-25 miles beneath the sub-glacial surface, they are close to the local boundary between Earth’s crust and mantle."





picture below is Pine Island Glacier in Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica   snipped from google earth.


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Scotia Sea earthquake swarm on the move


November 19, 2013SOUTH AMERICA - Scotia Sea earthquakes on the move. On the heels of a 5.0 magnitude quake along the Scotia tectonic plates, a 7.8 M quake shook things up further, however, no damage has been reported.


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports all earthquake activity with a bare bones description of the activity. Reports of damage caused by quakes are typically covered by other new agencies and geologic societies. The Scotia Sea is the area of water, typically cold and stormy, between the lands of South America, and the islands that make up Tierra de Fuego, near Argentina. The Drake Passage borders it. 


Some other lands affected are South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI), which are British Territory. The damage could have been worse for those land masses above the South Scotia Ridge, but for now there are no significant reports of major geological disturbances. The most recent Scotia Sea earthquake was reported by the USGS to have occurred as the result of either left-lateral strike slip faulting on an east-west oriented plane, or right-lateral faulting on a north-south plane. 










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