Giant Iceberg approaching South Georgia island

Iceberg A68a, shaped like a hand pointing downward, approaching South Georgia island.

Antarctic iceberg A-68A has drifted menacingly close to South Georgia, a remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Scientists around the world are watching to see what the berg will do next.

Giant Iceberg approaching South Georgia island

The concern is that the iceberg has approached the edge of the island’s submarine shelf—an area where waters become relatively shallow, measuring less than 200 meters deep. Scientists think the iceberg extends about that far below the water line, meaning it has the potential to snag the seafloor and become “grounded.” Biologists worry about the potential effect a grounded iceberg could have on the island’s wildlife, such as the ability for penguins to access food.

Top image showing the northern portion of iceberg A68a (yellow) drifting over South Georgia island.  Credit British Oceanographic Data Center’s Global Bathmetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)/British Antarctic Survey

source Earthobservatory.Nasa