Iceberg A68 escapes into the Weddell Gyre

After over a year of moving to and fro near its parent ice shelf, iceberg A68, which calved from Larsen C Ice Shelf on 12th July 2017, has finally escaped. Until recently, the iceberg was hemmed in by dense sea ice in the East and shallow waters in the North around Bawden Ice Rise. Now, a strong foehn wind blowing eastwards off the ice shelf in early September has pushed the southerly end of the iceberg out into the Weddell Gyre. This persistent clockwise drift of ocean waters and floating sea ice flowing North past the Larsen Ice Shelf, which can be seen in the animation below as a flow from right to left, has rotated A68 out into the Weddell Sea. Here it is much more free to begin moving away and be carried further North into warmer waters.

A68_movie

 

Advertisements