Vast Iceberg Could Cause Another Titanic

Gigantic glacier may be headed for shipping lanes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2010 11:20 AM CDT
This satellite image provided by NASA taken on Aug. 5, 2010, shows the Petermann Glacier in Northern Greenland.   (AP Photo/NASA)
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(Newser) – Researchers are frantically calculating the trajectory of the 100-square-mile island of ice that broke off a Greenland glacier recently, afraid that it could easily drift down into the heavily-trafficked waters where another Greenland iceberg sank the Titanic. The chunk of ice is four times the size of Manhattan, and “so big that you can’t prevent it from drifting. You can’t stop it,” one glaciologist tells the AP.

The ice seems to be headed for the Nares Strait, and if it makes it there before next month’s winter freeze, the current will carry it south, along Canada’s east coast. There, it’ll probably break up, forming huge fragments that could sink the many ships and offshore oil platforms in the area. Normally, oil rigs redirect icebergs, towing them or spraying them with water, but those tactics almost certainly wouldn’t work on icebergs this big.

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