A giant iceberg is drifting towards Western Australia, impressing scientists with its capacity to travel so far north while still largely intact.
Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Neal Young says the iceberg, named B17B, is 1700km south-south-west of the West Australian coast and moving north with the ocean current and prevailing wind.
‘‘B17B is a very significant one in that it has drifted so far north while still largely intact,’’ Dr Young said in a statement on Wednesday.
‘‘It’s one of the biggest sighted at those latitudes, now 48.8 S and 107.5 E.’’
Dr Young said B17B is 140sq/km in area, 19km long by 8km wide, and drifting slowly north from Antarctica towards Western Australia.
‘‘As the water warms up, the iceberg is slowly breaking up, resulting in hundreds more smaller icebergs in the area,’’ he said.
It was spotted by Dr Young using satellite images taken by NASA and the European Space Agency.
B17B calved from the eastern end of the Ross Ice Shelf about 10 years ago.