Collision Calves Iceberg from Mertz Glacier Tongue, Antarctica : Image of the Day
At 94 kilometers (58 miles) by 39 kilometers (24 miles) in size, the B-09B iceberg is comparable to the state of Rhode Island, which is wider but not quite so long. After lingering near the Mertz Glacier in Eastern Antarctica for several years, the massive iceberg collided with the glacier tongue on February 12 or 13, breaking it away from the rest of the glacier.
Vast Iceberg Dislodged in Antarctic Collision
...satellite images show that the recently calved Mertz iceberg is moving into the Adelie Depression, a coastal basin between the Mertz Glacier and the French Antarctic station of Dumont D'Urville to the west.
This depression is one of the major sites of dense water formation which drives the world's deep ocean circulation.
The dense water is formed from ocean water that circulates onto the continental shelf and interacts with the glacier tongue, and by high rates of sea ice formation in an area of unfrozen sea water surrounded by ice near the glacier.
The future position of the two giant icebergs will likely affect local ocean circulation, sea ice production, and deep water formation, the scientists said.