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About Iceberg

Iceberg Meaning: (noun) a Massive Block of Ice That Floats in the Sea.

What is an Iceberg?

Iceberg Definition- Icebergs are a large moving mass of ice chunks that break off from the glaciers. This is known as calving. Icebergs float in the ocean but are composed of frozen freshwater rather than saltwater. Refer to the below image to understand how an iceberg underwater looks like.

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Types of Iceberg

To be classified as an iceberg, the ice must be at least 16 feet above sea level, have a thickness of 98-164 feet, and cover an area of at least 5,382 square feet.

Smaller ice chunks are known as "bergy bits" and "growlers." 

Bergy bits and growlers can come from glaciers or shelf ice, or they can be the result of a large iceberg breaking up. A bergy bit is a medium to large ice fragment. Its height is typically greater than three feet but less than sixteen feet above sea level, and its area is typically between 1,076-3,229 square feet. 

Growlers are smaller ice chunks about the size of a truck or a grand piano. They are about 215 square feet in size and extend less than three feet above the sea surface.

Icebergs are also classified according to their shape, which is typically tabular or non-tabular. Tabular icebergs are distinguished by steep sides and a flat top. non-tabular icebergs have a variety of shapes, including domes and spires.

Are Icebergs Dangerous?

Iceberg underwater is dangerous to ships. The sharp, hidden ice can easily tear a hole in a ship's bottom. Because of the large number of icebergs that have found their way there, a particularly dangerous section of the North Atlantic has come to be known as Iceberg Alley. Iceberg Alley is located in Canada, 250 miles east and southeast of Newfoundland.

The Titanic, a large British ocean liner on its way to New York in 1912, collided with an iceberg and sank in Iceberg Alley. More than 1500 people perished in the flood. The International Ice Patrol was formed soon after the Titanic sank to track icebergs and warn ships. That patrol is still going on today.

What are Active Safety Measures?

The National Ice Center of the United States monitors icebergs all over the world (NIC). NIC analyses and forecasts ice conditions in the Arctic, Antarctic, Great Lakes, and the Chesapeake Bay. The National Ice Center (NIC) is the only organisation that names and tracks all Antarctic icebergs.

Iceberg patrols now use global positioning system (GPS) technology to help locate icebergs and prevent future disasters like the Titanic. The National Ice Center lost track of an iceberg the size of Rhode Island in 1999. It was discovered drifting toward the Drake Passage, a vital shipping route south of Argentina. Dr David Long of NASA's SeaWinds science team tracked the iceberg using satellite data, the first time satellite technology was used for that purpose. Since then, the SeaWinds team has tracked the world's ice using satellites.

Additional Information

  • Iceberg Phenomenon is a method for determining the severity and prevalence of disease in a population.

The disease pattern in the community or population is described using the analogy of an iceberg. The study of the "iceberg phenomenon of a disease" describes how a disease progresses (pathogenesis and spread) from its subclinical stages to its apparent disease state. The tip of the iceberg represents what clinicians see, while the submerged portion is what epidemiologists explore and make visible. The largely hidden part of the iceberg is what makes up the majority of unrecognised disease in the population and determines the fate of any disease control programme.

  • Have you heard of Iceberg Principle? Ernest Hemingway invented the Iceberg principle, also known as the theory of omission, as a writing strategy. Hemingway had to base his newspaper reporting as a young writer on current affairs with no meaning or explanation. He maintained this minimalistic approach as a short story writer, concentrating on surface elements rather than directly addressing overarching concepts. The deeper sense of a plot, according to Hemingway, should not be obvious on the surface but should shine through indirectly. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the Colour of an Iceberg?

Ans) The majority of icebergs are white, but some may appear blue or even green. Ice is made up of tiny air bubbles that scatter all colour wavelengths equally, giving it a white appearance. When ice is compressed, the bubbles are squeezed out and blue light is scattered much more than other colours, giving the ice a blue appearance. Algae frequently grow on the undersides of sea ice and icebergs, producing green stripes that are only revealed when the ice rolls over, exposing previously underwater sections.

Q2. Why do Icebergs Float?

Ans) To understand why ice floats, one must first grasp the concept of density. Density is calculated by dividing an object's mass (the amount of matter it contains) by its volume (the amount of space it takes up), or D=M/V. Density essentially describes how tightly packed the atoms of a substance are. The atoms in a high-density substance are tightly packed, whereas the atoms in a low-density substance are more spread out. Density is a defining property of a substance, and it remains constant regardless of how much of the substance is present. The density of pure liquid water is 1.0 g/mL, and it serves as a standard against which other substances are measured.


When water freezes, the water molecules spread out and align to form a distinct crystalline structure.   Water expands as it solidifies, whereas most other substances contract.


Because water expands when it freezes, ice occupies more space (has a larger volume) than liquid water. However, the amount of matter has not changed; it has simply been spread out over a larger area. This means that ice has a lower density (0.92 g/mL) than liquid water (1.0 g/mL). Ice floats in water because its density is lower than that of water.

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