Monday, February 22nd 2010 - 23:53 UTC

Germans record underwater massive iceberg crash into Antarctic ice-shelf

German oceanographers in Antarctica used underwater microphones this month to listen in on a massive iceberg crashing into the Antarctic ice-shelf, which cause a 2 000- metre crack, the ice lab headquarters said on Monday.

The tremendous noise also picked up the alarmed cries of seals and whales

The devices picked up the tremendous noise of the collision as well as the alarmed cries of seals and whales, according to the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany.

The moment when the 400-million-ton iceberg crashed was observed on February 11 from AWI's Neumayer III ice station about 10km away.

The 54-kilometre-long iceberg, code-named B-15-K, repeatedly nudged the coast over a nine-hour period. The force of each shunt was equivalent to up to 10 tons of high explosive.

B-15-K is a fragment of an 11,000-square-kilometre section of the Ross Ice Shelf which broke off in 2000 and drifted away on a coastal current.

An institute spokeswoman said it was sensational to see exactly what happens to ice when it is rammed with such force. The ice shelf sustained a crack 2 000 metres long and lost a 700-metre wide fragment during the movement.

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