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Uploaded on Tuesday 17 Aug 2010 by Peter Prokosch

Piece of Shelf-Ice, Antarctic Peninsula

Year: 2010
From collection: Antarctic biodiversity
Taken by: Peter Prokosch
Ice shelves are permanent floating sheets of ice that connect to a landmass. Most of the world’s ice shelves hug the coast of Antarctica. Ice from enormous ice sheets slowly oozes into the sea through glaciers and ice streams. If the ocean is cold enough, that newly arrived ice doesn't melt right away. Instead it may float on the surface and grow larger as glacial ice behind it continues to flow into the sea. Along protected coastlines, the resulting ice shelves can survive for thousands of years, bolstered by the rock of peninsulas and islands. Ice shelves grow when they gain ice from land, and occasionally shrink when icebergs calve off their edges. This give and take helps them maintain a dynamic stability.
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