Breakup of the Worlds Largest Iceberg
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Breakup of the World’s Largest Iceberg

November 13, 2003
Iceberg B-15A was the largest iceberg in the world (measuring about 11,000 square kilometers) when it broke away from Western Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. It held that distinction for over three years until splitting into two pieces in early October, 2003. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) acquired these views of the new iceberg B-15J (resting against Ross Island) and B-15A (now free to drift into the Southern Ocean) on October 26. Several massive icebergs (including B-15A) had migrated during 2000 and 2001 and ground against Ross Island, forming a barrier that influenced wind and current patterns and altered the regional ecology. The left-hand panel is a false-color view from MISR’s vertical-viewing. The right-hand panel is a multi-angular composite from three MISR cameras.

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