First-Ever Footage Released of Antarctic Iceberg '4 Times the Size of London'

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on February 12 released the first-ever footage showing the A-68 iceberg, said to be four times the size of London, that calved from the Larsen-C ice shelf in July 2017.

The A-68 was covering an area of seabed measuring 5,818 square kilometers (3,615 square miles) that lay hidden beneath the shelf for 120,000 years, BAS said in a press release.

This aerial footage, shot in December, shows the shelf and the iceberg following the calving. The split between the two is visible at 1:20 and at several other points in the video.

On February 14, a team of scientists from nine institutes, led by BAS, embarked on three-week expedition to examine the newly-exposed ecosystem before its exposure to sunlight altered the surface layers of the sea, according to BAS. Leading the mission was marine biologist Dr Katrin Linse from the British Antarctic Survey, who said:

“The calving of A-68 provides us with a unique opportunity to study marine life as it responds to a dramatic environmental change. It’s important we get there quickly before the undersea environment changes as sunlight enters the water and new species begin to colonise. We’ve put together a team with a wide range of scientific skills so that we can collect as much information as possible in a short time. It’s very exciting.”

BAS said the team would examine “seafloor animals, microbes, plankton, sediments and water samples” and collect tiny animals on the seafloor with a “special sledge.” Credit: British Antarctic Survey via Storyful