An iceberg the size of Los Angeles broke off the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica on Friday, but chances of it moving a significant distance or running aground are still unknown, according to the British Antarctic Survey.

Iran press/ Asia: The iceberg had been slowly breaking away from the Brunt Ice Shelf, a nearly 500-foot-thick floating ice shelf, at about a half-mile per day since January as it pushed northeast. That crack widened several hundred feet in a matter of hours Friday before completely breaking free.

The iceberg covers from 469 to 503 square miles, roughly the size of California's largest city and slightly bigger than New York City's 468 square miles.

Jane Francis, director of the British Antarctic Survey said her team had been monitoring the ice shelf daily using an automated network of high-precision GPS instruments that surround its Halley Research Station. The devices measure how the ice shelf was deforming and moving. The team also used satellite images from the European Space Agency and NASA along with the German satellite TerraSAR-X.

The research station is located inland from all the active chasms and remains connected to the continent. She said their instruments would give them early warning if a new iceberg creates any changes around the station.

Simon Garrod, director of operations at the British Antarctic Survey said the team moved the station inland to make sure it would not be carried away when an iceberg eventually formed.