The inquiry committee said The 1,270-square-kilometer glacier has broken the front ice shelf 150 meters thick in a process called “partitioning”. The glacier is named A74.
This came almost a decade after scientists first saw massive cracks forming on the plate.
The cracks in the snow on Friday morning were several hundred meters wide before the glacier completely broke.
The UK’s Halle VI Research Station monitors the condition of a wide floating ice shelf on a daily basis.
“Our teams at BAS have been preparing for the birth of a front ice shelf for many years,” said BAS Director Jane Francis.
The mobile research site was moved inland for security reasons in 2016-2017 because it threatened to cut through the cracks in the ice.
“This is a wise decision,” said BAS CEO Simon Carrot.
Glacier experts said the latest event was unlikely to affect the station’s current location.
A group of 12 people have been evacuated since the beginning of this month as people left the site uninhabited during the winter due to unpredictable conditions.
When they are away, they go to a center in Cambridge, in the east of England, to analyze the data of the GPS devices on site.
Glaciers are naturally ejected from Antarctica into the ocean in a process accelerated by climate change.
In this case, BAS said, “there is no evidence that climate change has played a significant role.”
“In the next few weeks or months, the glacier may recede or run away and be close to the front ice shelf,” Francis said.
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