(ORDO NEWS) — The rapid change in ocean currents in the Southern Ocean likely broke one of the largest icebergs in half. Scientists came to this conclusion after studying satellite images and other data.
The giant iceberg A68a covered an area of about 6,000 square kilometers, but it broke in half in 2020. Scientists did not know what led to this.
Researchers at Princeton University in New Jersey used satellite imagery and data to go back to December 2020 and understand the cause of this event.
“Usually icebergs break because they collide with the seafloor,” Alex Huth, lead author of the study.
“But in this case, after looking at the ocean current data, one part of the iceberg seemed to block the part of the current that was stronger than the other, so… it caused enough stress along the body of the iceberg to break it in half like a toothpick.”
To test their theory, they studied how external forces such as ocean currents and wind can affect an iceberg.
By creating a simulation of the A86a iceberg, the team found that when the iceberg enters a very strong current and the adjacent current is very weak, the bonds between the particles are broken.
“We were able to simulate the actual collapse of the iceberg,” the researchers write.
Contact us: email@example.com