Mon, February 06, 2012
Technology > Science

Massive crack seen in Antarctic glacier

2012-02-06 03:40:07 GMT2012-02-06 11:40:07(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

This handout satellite image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft shows the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica November 13, 2011.

Tamara, Laura and Marininha Klink, daughters of Brazilian expeditionist Amyr Klink, sail on optimist boats during a trip to Antarctica on January 21, 2010 in Antarctica. (Photo by Marina Klink/LatinContent/Getty Images)

A village of tents, where scientist sleep, is seen in front of the Belgian Princess Elisabeth polar station in Usteinen, Antarctica in 2009. The United States and Russia will jointly inspect foreign facilities in Antarctica to make sure environmental and other responsibilities under the 1959 Antarctica Treaty are being met, the State Department said Saturday. (AFP Photo/Philippe Siuberski)

The sun illuminates the sheer face of an iceberg in McMurdo Sound after it broke off the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, in a photo released by the National Science Foundation. A British explorer, Felicity Aston, claims to have become the first woman to cross Antarctica on her own, after skiing more than 1,700 kilometres across the ice in 59 days

A turquoise lake (C) forms from melting snow near Cape Folger on the Budd Coast on January 11, 2008 in the Australian Antarctic Territory. Australia's CSIRO's atmospheric research unit has found the world is warming faster than predicted by the United Nations' top climate change body, with harmful emissions exceeding worst-case estimates. (Photo by Torsten Blackwood - Pool/Getty Images)

The retreating Knox Coast iceshelf exposes the barren Windmill Islands of Vincennes Bay on January 11, 2008 in the Australian Antarctic Territory. Australia's CSIRO's atmospheric research unit has found the world is warming faster than predicted by the United Nations' top climate change body, with harmful emissions exceeding worst-case estimates. (Photo by Torsten Blackwood - Pool/Getty Images)

A satellite image of Pine Island Glacier captured a crack that is more than 18 miles long, 800 feet across in places, and 180 feet deep.

In mid-October 2011, NASA scientists discovered a massive crack across the Glacier, a major ice stream that drains the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Extending for 19 miles (30 kilometres), the crack was 260 feet (80 meters) wide and 195 feet (60 meters) deep. Eventually, the crack will extend all the way across the glacier and calve a giant iceberg that will cover about 350 square miles (900 square kilometres).

(Agencies)

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