CONCEPTS

What is an iceberg?

We explain what an iceberg is and the danger that this ice mass represents. In addition, how it is formed and some of its characteristics.

  1. What is an iceberg?

It is known as iceberg (from English) or iceberg to a large mass of floating ice in the ocean , detached from a glacier or a bench, and that has a portion outside the water , while the rest remains submerged.

The icebergs come from the polar region of the planet, where they were part of an icy mass (banquisa) that, due to fractures and various causes, cracks and releases its fragments to the current. This is how these large pieces of ice reach mid-latitudes, where they represent a danger to maritime navigation , as demonstrated by the sinking of the famous Titanic.

Since this famous tragedy occurred in 1912, numerous icebergs have been observed detaching from Antarctica, dragged by the Labrador current.

In 1974 the detachment of one of the approximate size of the island of Manhattan was reported, although it failed to leave the pole due to the drift current. Another huge iceberg of similar proportions broke out in 2017, which was interpreted as clear evidence of global warming .

Icebergs contain tons of fresh water in solid form, as well as frost and snow coming from the atmosphere . It is estimated that the largest portion of its mass remains submerged (barely one-eighth stands out), so it is difficult to calculate at a glance where they actually begin .

Due to the density of the salt water of the ocean , these ice masses are kept afloat and can be dragged by the current, despite their colossal size . Eventually the warmer temperatures in the south melt them and add a significant volume of fresh water to the ocean. The place in the world where more icebergs are produced is Greenland.

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