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Once they split from an ice shelf, they are often geometric in shape.

That's consistent with an iceberg calved from floating ice in that region, she said. A very basic imagery that we all have of an iceberg is an angular one with a small tip at the top of the water. The berg appears toward the end of the clip on the left.

The survey, code-named Operation IceBridge, is created to watch for changes in the ice levels at several glaciers across Antarctica.

Brunt explained the rectangle was likely formed by a process that's fairly common along the edges of icebergs.

The image was taken by NASA's Operation IceBridge, a fleet of research aircraft that image Earth's polar ice.

The IceBridge mission began back on October 10th but it's far from over.

A triangular iceberg was also seen nearby, surrounded by several different types of sea ice. Over time, the sea and wind will start to erode its smooth edges. It was a naturally occurring phenomenon called tabular ice which, unlike the iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912, has flat tops and steep sides.

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Brunt added that even the scientists thought the find was unusual as it's "almost like a square".

In 2008 the British Antarctic Survey flew over a whole collection of these freakishly ideal tabular icebergs, which had broken off of the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

NASA asserts that the iceberg's precise angles and extremely flat surface, "indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf".

Larsen A, an ice shelf farther north on the peninsula, broke up in 1995.

From the photo alone, it is impossible to determine the size of the iceberg, but Brunt estimated that the tabular iceberg is about a mile across.

Just past the rectangular iceberg, which is visible from behind the outboard engine, IceBridge saw another relatively rectangular iceberg.

But this is the first year that the scientists will also survey Antarctica using the new Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2.


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