12 Mile Long Iceberg Floats Toward Western Australia

PERTH, Australia, Dec. 11 (UPI) — An iceberg 12 miles long and 5 miles wide is slowly drifting north from Antarctica toward western Australia, a glaciologist said.

The iceberg, named B17B, was about 1,000 miles south-southwest of the western Australian coast and moving northeast, Neal Young, a glaciologist with the Australian Antarctic Division, said in a release Friday.

“B17B is a very significant one in that it has drifted so far north while still largely intact,” Young said. “As the water warms up the iceberg is thinning and slowly breaking up, resulting in hundreds more smaller icebergs in the area.

B17B broke, or “calved,” from the eastern end of the Ross Ice Shelf nearly a decade ago. It drifted out of the Ross Sea headed westward around the Antarctic coastline and became trapped for several years east of the Mertz Glacier before beginning its latest drift northeast.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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