Published: Wed, October 24, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Nasa photographs rectangular iceberg

Nasa photographs rectangular iceberg

You can see similarly eerie, geometric precision in a geological phenomenon called 'columnar jointing,' which creates near-perfect hexagon shapes in certain types of rock. Sitting amid a chaotic jumble of floating ice, it looks perfectly rectangular, as though it was deliberately cut. This iceberg looks pretty fresh, she said.

It looks so flawless that it seems Photoshopped - but a odd perfectly rectangular iceberg near Antarctica is a natural phenomenon, NASA scientists say.

She said there were two types of iceberg. Once they split from an ice shelf, they are often geometric in shape.

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Last year, the iceberg A-68 broke off Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf after years of cracks spreading across the ice - but it's remained "stuck" near the ice shelf.

"The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf", the team writes. Brunt added that only about 10 percent of the iceberg's mass is visible, the rest being underwater.

"The best thing I can say is that when a "trillion tonne" iceberg runs into an ice-covered rocky island (Bawden Ice Rise) the crystalline glacier ice will fracture along planes of weakness, much like a more typical mineral crystal might be cleaved".

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Unlike the icebergs of non-tabular variety, such as the irregularly shaped berg that sunk the Titanic, these chunks of ice are distinguished by their flat tops, steep sides, and sometimes massive sizes.

The rectangular mile-wide block of ice was seen off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula near to the Larsen C ice shelf.

The image was taken during an IceBridge flight which is a survey from the air of the planet's polar ice that gives a 3D view of the ice providing information on how it changes over time.

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These particular icebergs can be truly huge, measuring hundreds and occasionally thousands of square kilometers across, such as the 11,000 square kilometer (4,200 square mile) B-15, the world's largest free-floating object ever recorded.

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