On October 14, 2011, NASA scientists spotted a major rift in the Pine Island Glacier, a large ice stream in Antarctica. At the time, the crack was about 18 miles long, OurAmazingPlanet reported.
A satellite image taken on Nov. 13, 2011 (shown below) revealed a crack that was 19 miles long, 260 feet wide, and 195 feet deep.
If the fissure continues to grow it will eventually break off from the Pine Island Glacier, producing an iceberg about 800 square kilometers in size.
Although Pine Island is losing ice at an average of 6 meters per year in some places, scientists believe the crack is part of a natural cycle of ice formation known as calving—not climate change.
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