Ice cubes in Antarctica

The winner of the Royal Society’s annual photo competition was taken over the Antarctic Peninsula in 1995 and recently digitised by the British Antarctic Survey. It shows a most unusual ice formation (plane for scale) with regular crevasses bisecting the ice in two directions at roughly right angles to each other. While attributed by the BAS to stretching in two directions over a topographic rise under the ice sheet other researchers add that the ice might be fast flowing and floating and spreading outwards in both directions thinning while it does so.

The first set of cracks appear parallel to the ice’s forward movement, while the second perpendicular set comes later in the spreading process. In this case, the set parallel to the wings is older, with gentler edges and filled with more snow, while those parallel to the fuselage are the younger set. Either way, this is one of nature’s incredible patterns reflecting the awesome forces at play when such huge masses of frozen water gently slide off a continent. Via Earth Story

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One Response to Ice cubes in Antarctica

  1. If that’s a shadow its not of the same plane. Interesting picture though; I told you you wasn’t that warm in Melbourne.

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