In just 30 minutes at the end of June, four-and-a-half miles of icebergs fractured off of Greenland’s Helheim glacier in an icy churn. Researchers managed to catch it on camera, and they’ve released a sped-up video that condenses the violence of the ice-shattering event into a little over 90 seconds.
The Helheim glacier dips into the ocean in eastern Greenland, and the first ice chunk to break off was wide and shallow, “like a pancake,” says David Holland, an NYU professor who led the expedition to Greenland. Then came the pinnacle icebergs — tall spikes of ice that toppled and turned. “Every conceivable type of iceberg was produced,” Holland says. All told, a section of the glacier as big as lower and midtown Manhattan combined broke apart and floated into the ocean, according to a news release, making global sea levels rise, just a little.
Video Credit: Denise Holland, Logistics Coordinator/NYU’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Video shot June 22, 2018- Real time length: 30 minutes)