The Larsen Ice Shelf is a long, fringing ice shelf in the northwest part
of the Weddell Sea, extending along the east coast of the Antarctic
It is named for Captain Carl Anton Larsen, the master of the Norwegian
whaling vessel Jason, who sailed along the ice front in 1893.
The Larsen Ice Shelf is a series of shelves that occupy distinct
embayments along the coast from north to south, the segments are called
Larsen A (the smallest), Larsen B, and Larsen C (the largest) by
Further south, Larsen D and the much smaller Larsen E, F and G are also
The breakup of the ice shelf since the mid-1990s has been widely
reported, with the collapse of Larsen A in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002 being
Larsen C has developed a rift 175 kilometres long and half-a-kilometre
wide. A chunk of the shelf is poised to break off soon. When that happens,
the ‘chunk’ will be an iceberg over 5,000 sq. km across and 350m high – more
than four times the height of Delhi’s Qutub Minar and over an area
one-and-a-half times the size of Goa.
If the glaciers held in check by Larsen C spilt into the Antarctic
Ocean, it would lift the global water mark by about 10 cm, the researchers
Larsen C is the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, with an area of
about 50,000 km2.