When the Larsen C ice shelf broke, it exposed a hidden world | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

When the Larsen C ice shelf broke, it exposed a hidden world

Science teams are racing to Antarctica to assess ice, seafloor ecosystems

By
1:33pm, October 13, 2017
RRS James Clark Ross

ICY VOYAGE  In February, an expedition led by the British Antarctic Survey will journey to Antarctica on the RRS James Clark Ross (shown here during the Antarctic summer of 2010‒2011) to study a mysterious ecosystem exposed in July by the calving of the Larsen C iceberg.

Teams of scientists are gearing up to race to the Antarctic Peninsula to find out what happens in the immediate aftermath of a massive ice calving event. In July, a Delaware-sized iceberg broke off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf (SN: 8/5/17, p. 6). Now, several research groups aim to assess the stability of the remaining ice shelf, map the region’s seafloor and study a newly exposed ecosystem that’s been hidden from the sun for up to 120,000 years.

First on the scene in November will be a team of scientists led by geophysicist Adam Booth of the University of Leeds in England and the U.K.-based Project MIDAS, which tracked the progress of the rifting from 2014 until the final break (SN: 7/25/15,

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More Earth & Environment articles

From the Nature Index Paid Content