- Iceberg A68a calved from Antarctica in 2017 and has been free-floating in the South Atlantic ever since
- Alarm bells have been raised over its proximity to the island of South Georgia and risk it poses to wildlife
- Three fragments have broke from the main berg in the last week and each is larger than a city
- The enormous A68a iceberg which broke off from Antarctica in 2017 and has been drifting dangerously close to the island of South Georgia recently is starting to fall apart.
- New images from the RAF show how fragments of the once largest iceberg in the world are breaking away from the main bulk of the berg.
- The monster iceberg's shape had been likened to a clenched fist with a pointing finger. Satellite images earlier this week captured the first evidence the fault lines across the 'finger' of the drifting mass had ruptured completely.
The US National Ice Center (USNIC) released a statement Tuesday confirming the massive iceberg is breaking apart, creating new smaller bergs.
Cracks were spotted on Monday along the southern region of A68a, but at that time had not yet cut through the floating sheet of ice.
By Tuesday the fissures resulted in new icebergs being formed and drifting away from A68a.
Satellite images taken this week reveal A68d broke off from the northern tip of the mother-berg and has stayed close to south Georgia Island.
Tracking of the iceberg has revealed that over the last two months it has got closer and closer to South Georgia, with experts growing concerned about the impact it could have on the island's unique biodiversity.
Due to the sheer size of the iceberg and its thickness it could get stuck in the waters around the island, potentially preventing seals and penguins from hunting in the waters.
Careful ongoing analysis of the Arctic giant's thickness have shown it is getting thinner, potentially contributing to the recent fracturing.
While over the last week it appears to have drifted back south, experts are still concerned the berg could get stuck and wreak havoc, and fracturing into several smaller parts means experts must now track each city-sized chunk of ice.
The split of the three fragments within a few days of each other occured at lines of weakness which have been evident on the iceberg wsince 2017 when it first calved from the main Antarctic peninsula.
Atthis time it had an average thickness of 760ft (232m) and its chunkiest section measured up to 935ft (285m).
It is now around 105ft (32m) thinner in general, but some sections have reduced by more than this.
The loss of thickness with area means A68a is barely a third of its initial bulk ut could still get stuck near South Georgia and pose serious problems.