|Themes > Science > Earth Sciences > Hydrology, Meteorology, Climatology > Hydrology > Oceans > Experiments with the CyberScientist > How Much of an Iceberg Lurks under Water?|
Icebergs are floating masses of ice common in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. As a glacier moves toward the ocean, portions of it break off to form icebergs. Icebergs float because they are made of ice and snow, which are less dense than water. The surface of an iceberg consists mostly of snow, which is not very compact.
So about how much of an iceberg is above water and how much is submerged? You can perform the following experiment to find out.
You will need:
Here's what you do:
Do the math:
Height Above Water / Total Height = Percent of Ice above Water
Height Below Water / Total Height = Percent
of Ice below Water
What's your result?
You should have arrived at approximately 1/8 (12.5 %) of the ice to be above water and 7/8 (87.5 %) of the ice to be below the surface.
Icebergs float because they are made of ice and snow, which are less dense than water. The surface of the iceberg consists mostly of snow, which is not very compact. This portion of the iceberg remains above the waterline. The very compact ice core is relatively heavier and keeps a large percentage of the iceberg under water. When an iceberg tumbles over several times, its light snow layers are compacted. Thus, even more of the iceberg is submerged under water.