Recent observations from Larsen C contain evidence that the ice shelf is responding to the developing rift.

The current location of the rift on Larsen C, as of May 13 2017. Labels highlight significant jumps. Tip positions are derived from Landsat (USGS) and Sentinel-1 InSAR (ESA) data. Background image blends BEDMAP2 Elevation (BAS) with MODIS MOA2009 Image mosaic (NSIDC). Other data from SCAR ADD and OSM.

The Sentinel-1 interferogram (left panels) between images on 7th and 13th May show intriguing areas of low ‘coherence’ (dark patches where coloured ‘fringes’ are absent). These areas must be moving independently of the surrounding ice - probably slumping downwards and outwards into the rift - and probably occur because the ice at the rift edges has lost lateral buttressing support since the rift opened. There are two areas: one on the iceberg (12 x 3 km), that appears to be slumping backwards into the rift. More significantly, a larger patch (18 x 4 km) on the remaining shelf, in a region where basal crevasses are common, appears to be slumping forwards into the rift.

This is potentially important because it shows how the ice shelf may behave in future - calving smaller patches from the new ice-shelf margin because the iceberg calving has removed its protective margin, and existing weaknesses are now able to open up.

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