Snapshot of the rift in the Larsen C on Nov. 10, 2016. (NASA/John Sonntag)
Giant iceberg breaks away
00:53 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

In the frigid waters off the coast of Fogo Island icebergs float by on their journey southward. Get up close with the massive pieces of ice and see Newfoundland’s barren landscape.

A massive iceberg weighing more than one trillion tons has broken away from western Antarctica, according to a UK-based research team.

Scientists from Project MIDAS had been monitoring a break in the Larsen C ice shelf – the fourth-largest in Antarctica – following the collapse of the Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and had observed significant advances in the rift over the past 12 months.

Map showing iceberg detachment based on data from NASA dated July 12.

Experts said a 5,800-square-kilometer (2,239-square-mile) section of Larsen C was confirmed to have broken away between Monday and Wednesday by NASA’s Aqua MODIS satellite.

“We have been anticipating this event for months, and have been surprised how long it took for the rift to break through the final few kilometers of ice,” professor Adrian Luckman of Swansea University, lead investigator of the MIDAS project said in a statement.

He told CNN the team believes the iceberg has remained intact adding, “This is part of the normal behavior of ice shelves. What makes this unusual is the size.”

Scientists believe the iceberg – likely to be named A68 – has a volume twice that of Lake Erie in North America and is more than three times the size of the greater London area.

Read: Two big changes in Antarctica have scientists worried