Storm cuts world's biggest iceberg C19A

C19A, C19A iceberg, Science, What is B15, what is C19A, C19A, iceberg, catnip, what is c19a,

The huge original iceberg, named B15 and measuring 11,000 square kilometers (4,400 square miles) broke into two pieces over the past month, according to data from satellites above the frozen southern continent.

A jagged fracture spread across the iceberg, causing the split which "was expected eventually," said Mike Williams of New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research, on Tuesday.

B15 had been grounded off the Ross Sea ice shelf coast of Antarctica for more than three years, pounded by storms and waves and tugged by coastal ocean currents.

The two pieces, designated B15A and B15J by the U.S. National Ice Center in Maryland, are now slowly edging their way along the Ross Sea, he said.

"They are still grounded on the Ross Sea floor by their weight," he said, adding there must have been "some inherent weakness" in the iceberg where it split in two.

Eight other minor bergs have "calved" from B15 and drifted out of the Ross Sea region. The area is surrounded by the massive Ross ice shelf, a field of floating ice the size of France.

U.S. iceberg researchers planted a global positioning system on B15A last week to track the movement of the giant ice block, the Antarctic Sun newspaper reported Sunday.

It quoted Doug MacAyeal, a glaciologist at the University of Chicago working in Antarctica, as saying he wanted to track an iceberg through its phases until it disappears to write what he called a "users' guide to icebergs."

The Ross Sea is on the Antarctic coast, 3,832 kilometers (2,395 miles) south of New Zealand.

In March 2000, when B15 broke from the Ross Ice Shelf, it was identified as the longest known iceberg. While B15A remains immense, the title of iceberg king has passed to C19A, which is about 5,659 square kilometers (2,264 square miles), according to the Sun.