Gigantic Iceberg A-68 Swimming Away for the Last Three Years

Losing its two parts in a row, the iceberg appears to be smaller and plans to go even further.
Deniz Yildiran
A-68A in open watersESA

Being one of the largest icebergs ever known, it was almost two times bigger than Luxembourg when it decided to leave its motherland and gave the Antarctic Peninsula a complete new frame, compares ESA. Monitored by Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission for the last three years, the berg has covered a long distance. Compared to its huge surface, the thickness appears to be quite thin with a few hundred meters thick.

After the berg separated its way from home, it couldn’t stop losing piece after piece. Recently it has lost its third chunk called A-68C in April 2020, which came after A-68B. The logic behind the naming process of icebergs performs as where they were seen first. A sequential number is added. If the berg calves, a sequencing number comes later. Consequently, A-68 was renamed as A-68A after losing its first part, explains The European Space Agency.


It’s been three years since the berg is swimming on its own and being monitored by Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission. In 2020, it started to move away from the icecap towards the South Atlantic. 

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A-68A's route
Source: The European Space Agency

The map above displays how far A-68A has gone after it lost its two big pieces in the last three years. The berg had kept its distance close to Larsen C during 2018 and 2019, while it speeded up in 2020. The most recent position A-68A taken was monitored on the 5th of July by Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission. 

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