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Another rift appeared on the Brunt Ice Shelf in October 2016 and quickly extended eastward. Dubbed Halloween Crack, it’s located about 12 km north of Halley Research Station. By March 2017, the crack cut 35 km across the ice shelf. By October 2018, it was 60 km long.

If Chasm 1 were to meet the Halloween Crack at the McDonald Ice Rumples, a large iceberg could form and would be the largest iceberg to break from the Brunt Ice Shelf since the start of observations in 1915. Estimates suggest it would cover about 1,700 km2, a little bigger than the island of Oahu. While larger icebergs have broken free of coastal Antarctica in recent years, such a break would add to the overall pattern of ice loss.

These images from Landsat 8 use only its panchromatic band. The resolution of this band is 15 m, rather than the 30 m of the other bands. It makes the images grayscale, which in Antarctica is not much different from natural color.

Do you see Halley Research Station move into view in the lower right of the images?

How about another rift forming in the last images and an iceberg breaking from the shelf? More on that in the “North Rift” sections.

Imagery

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Oct. 31, 2016, Landsat 8 (path/row 183/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Jan. 28, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 182/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Mar. 1, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 182/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Dec. 21, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 183/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Nov. 20, 2018, Landsat 8 (path/row 185/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Oct. 31, 2019, Landsat 8 (path/row 184/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Jan. 7, 2021 Landsat 8 (path/row 182/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Mar. 1, 2021, Landsat 8 (path/row 185/113) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Dec. 25, 2021, Landsat 8 (path/row 182/114) — Halloween Crack, Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica

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