Landsat satellites have watched the Brunt Ice Shelf for nearly five decades. And now, Landsat 9 has joined in observing the changing surface.
Major rifts have formed near a distinctive feature called the McDonald Ice Rumples. Ice rumples form when a rocky formation on the seabed impedes the flow of ice, causing pressure waves, crevasses, and rifts to form.
Through this Landsat time series, the feature that causes the rumples remains stationary, while the ice shelf and its rifts flow west.
In recent years, a prominent rift named Chasm 1 has approached close to the McDonald Ice Rumples. A large iceberg could form if it continues to lengthen.
Estimates suggest it would cover about 17 hundred square kilometers, a little bigger than the island of Oahu.