A gigantic rifting event is coming into its final phase on the brunt ice shelf in Antarctica. 2 huge crevasses are foreseen to encounter in the coming months. This can cause an iceberg measuring between 580 and 660 sq mi (1500 - 1700 sq km) and up to 820 feet (250 m) thick to break free from the continent into the sea. It'll be largest iceberg to calve off the shelf since scientists started focusing in 1915.
The first crack, known as chasm 1, had shown no movement in thirty-five years, however that changed in 2013. Since then, scientists are observing Chasm 1 grow at a rate of about one to two miles (approximately four km) annually. Then in late October of 2016, a second crack appeared perpendicular to Chasm one. The “Halloween Crack”—which may well be known as that as much for its jagged Joker-smile edge as for the timing of its discovery—extends east from the McDonald Ice Rumples. The 2 cracks are projected to meet within the next few months.
As soon as the Halloween Crack appeared, scientists at the Halley VI research Station knew they might ought to finish off shop and head inland, again. First established in 1956 to study Earth’s atmosphere, the station has been moved many times because of ice instability and movement. The newest move, that involved hauling individual modules propped on “telescopic legs ending in large skis” one at a time, fourteen miles inland, began in December of 2016 and was completed earlier than schedule in only over a year.
We’ll shortly find out whether or not the meeting of the Halloween Crack and Chasm 1 trigger an acceleration of calving events in Antarctica. If so, a team of specialised snow tractors rigged up like mechanized sled dogs can get busy hauling Halley’s futuristic research pods farther up the brunt to less broken ground.