A few weeks after breaking off the Ronne ice front in the Weddell Sea, what is considered the world’s largest iceberg is no longer so because it has split into three equally large fragments .
A76 was measured at 4,320 square kilometers when it was detected in mid-May. Now A76 has ceased to exist and in its place we have A-76A, A-76B and A-76C.
And get the title back …
Data obtained with a laser altimeter aboard NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite reveal a height of 35 meters above sea level of the inner face of the iceberg. That means the iceberg would be about 280 meters thick, including most of the iceberg that exists below the waterline and out of sight .
The image shows the elevation data acquired by three different ATLAS lasers when the satellite passed over the new iceberg on May 17, 2021.
The laser light is actually bright green, but the rays are represented here in blue, green, and purple to better differentiate the elevation data derived from each. The data has been superimposed on an image of the iceberg acquired with the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) of the Copernicus Sentinel-1A satellite (operated by the European Space Agency). The radar image was acquired on May 18, 2021, just 20 hours after ICESat-2 passed.
Iceberg A-23A, adrift since 1986 and currently measuring approximately 4,000 square kilometers, has thus regained the title of largest iceberg in the world .