April 20, 2005 in Nation/World

Iceberg smashes 3-mile glacier

Associated Press
 

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The world’s biggest iceberg has hit the end of an Antarctic glacier, snapping off a block about 3 miles square, a New Zealand scientist said today.

The giant iceberg, known as B15A, had run into the tip of the Drygalski Ice Tongue in “more of a nudge than a collision,” said Lou Sanson, chief executive of the government scientific agency Antarctica New Zealand.

The clash between the 100-mile-long iceberg and the 40-mile-long glacier near McMurdo station on the North Antarctic coast was first predicted by scientists in late December; the collision was discovered by scientists reviewing satellite photos taken over the weekend, Sanson said.

“That’s the only record we’ve got of it,” at this stage, he said, with the last of the sun’s rays timed to hit the frozen southern continent April 20, as the southern hemisphere winter closes in on the region. He said it was possible the iceberg would now head back out to sea.

The giant iceberg had blocked sea access to the region, threatening penguin breeding colonies and blocking ships supplying food and fuel to Antarctic research stations for some months.

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