Satellites observe the “Halloween crack” in Antarctica

The Sentinel-2 satellite captured the “Halloween crack” in the Antarctic Brant Glacier, discovered in 2016. If it continues to grow, a piece of ice five times larger than the island of Malta will fall into the sea.

The “Halloween Crack” on the Brant Glacier. Source:

“Halloween Crack”

The European Space Agency has published an image of the Brandt Glacier in Antarctica, taken by the Sentinel-2 satellite, part of the Copernicus Earth observation system. You can see a giant “Halloween crack” on them, almost cutting off a significant part of it from the ice field.

The crack got its name due to the fact that it was discovered on October 31, 2016, on the eve of Halloween. And there really is something scary about it. To completely separate a significant part of the glacier from the rest of the massif, it is enough for it to increase by only 600 m.

In fact, now a giant block of ice is hanging by a thread, and if it breaks off, an iceberg with an area of 1,750 km2 will form. This is about five times larger than the island of Malta. If such an iceberg melts, it can lead to a rapid rise in the water level in the ocean and flooding of many coastal areas.

Threat to the Antarctic ice floe

So far, the study of the images taken by Sentinel-2 indicates that the “Halloween crack” is not growing. Brandt Glacier is still fairly securely lying at the bottom of the bay. But if it starts to “float” and oscillate on the waves, it can lead to big trouble. And the appearance of a giant iceberg will not be the worst in this case. 

The destruction of the entire glacier is much more terrible. It is a continuation of the ice flows gradually sliding from Antarctica into the ocean. If it disappears, then the speed of their movement will increase and the process will accelerate. And this is already fraught with global climate change.

According to

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