’s Werelds grootste ijsberg breekt los infographic
Graphic shows size and path of the A23a iceberg across the Weddell Sea.


’s Werelds grootste ijsberg breekt na 30 jaar los

By Jordi Bou

November 24, 2023 - The world’s biggest iceberg, which split from the Antarctic coastline in 1986 to become stuck to the ocean floor for more than 30 years, is about to spill beyond Antarctic waters.

The iceberg, called A23a, is almost 4,000 sq km in area, that's roughly three times the size of New York City and more than twice the size of Greater London.

Since calving off West Antarctica's Filchner Ice Shelf in 1986, the iceberg, which once hosted a Soviet research station, has largely been stranded after its base became stuck on the floor of the Weddell Sea.

But in the past year has seen it drifting at speed, and the iceberg is now about to spill beyond Antarctic waters.

As it gains steam, the colossal berg will likely be ejected into the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which will throw it towards the South Atlantic on a path known as “iceberg alley” where others of its kind can be found bobbing in dark waters.

It's possible A23a could become grounded at South Georgia island. That might disrupt
its delicate ecosystem.

PUBLISHED: 24/11/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: USNIC