In July 2017, the Larsen C ice shelf along the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula spawned A-68A—one of the planet’s largest icebergs on record. The berg disintegrated in April 2021, ending a more than 2500-kilometer journey that spanned almost four years. This video highlights some of the iceberg’s notable moments, from its initial break amid winter darkness, to its sunlit debut, to its close encounter with a remote island.
The melting of A-68A won’t directly contribute to sea level rise. But satellite images like these—captured throughout the ice’s rifting, calving, and subsequent drift—will help scientists study the natural life cycles of Antarctic ice shelves and icebergs yet to come.
Video by Kathryn Hansen, based on NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, Joshua Stevens, and Jesse Allen. Science review by Christopher Shuman (NASA GSFC/UMBC JCET).