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Iceberg armada heads for NZ

Earth News
In this undated photo released by the New Zealand Defense Force, an iceberg is observed from a New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion maritime surveillance airplane on routine fisheries patrol in the southern ocean

Nov 06, 2006
An armada of icebergs heading toward New Zealand would have come from an iceberg more than 100 kilometres wide and 1500 metres deep, scientists say.
Experts believe a mammoth piece of ice broke off the Ross or Amery ice shelves in Antarctica. Crevasses within that piece then broke into smaller icebergs.


The air force said that more than 100 icebergs were passing 260km off the coast of the South Island. The largest iceberg stretched two kilometres wide and about 130 metres high, and would extend 1000 metres beneath the sea.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research oceanographer Mike Williams said icebergs had been breaking from the ice shelves for thousands of years, caused by stresses within the ice shelf. This could not be linked to global warming. "We've only been in Antarctica for the last 100 years, so it's very hard to say there's been any change," he said. But it was rare for them to reach this far north without melting. "It must have been a very large iceberg. I think it would have to be one of the largest icebergs that carved off an ice shelf in recent years."

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