By, Jo Carol Hebert
To know about Icebergs, first, we have to talk about glaciers.
A glacier is a large area of freshwater snow that doesn’t melt during the summer. Over long periods of time, the many layers of snow are compressed into ice. The great weight of glaciers causes these huge ice lands to slide downhill.
The movement is so slow, you cannot notice it with the normal eye. Glaciers are not in a hurry. Ten percent (10%) of the area of the earth is covered with ice glaciers.
Glaciers Have Names
Landforms and water masses of the world have geographical names to identify their area and location. (Sahara Desert/Africa, Banff National Park/Canada, Amazon River/South America).
Here are the names of two of the biggest glaciers in the world.
- Greenland Ice Sheet Glacier. Area, 700,000 square miles. Covers 80% of North Arctic Greenland.
- Pine Island Ice Stream Glacier. Area, 68,000 square miles.
- South Pole/Antarctica. An iceberg the size of Washington, D.C. broke off this glacier in February, 2020, but quickly shattered into pieces.
Is An Iceberg a Glacier?
No. But it is a piece of a land glacier that calves (breaks off) and floats in the ocean. When water freezes, it expands. Small air pockets formed within the ice makes the water particles less crowded together (less dense) and it floats.
Fun Fact: a dense forest is when the trees grow very close together. A dense population is when many people are crowded into a small area.
Remember? Water can be in three forms. You can experience those three forms, when;
- you are sitting in a hot tub (liquid)
- you see the steam from the heat rising (gas)
- you are drinking a glass of lemonade with ice cubes (solid).
Icebergs Calve in Different Shapes and Sizes
Glaciologists have names for the different forms that icebergs take according to how they break off of larger glaciers: Flat, Blocks, Wedges, Domes, Pyramids, and U-Shaped.
The shape and size you can see above the water is only 10% of the total iceberg. 90% of an iceberg is under the water!
So, How Big Can An Iceberg Be?
Here are some famous icebergs and their sizes:
- Iceberg B-15. Antarctica. Area, 6,840 square miles. Size of the island of Jamaica. Calved off the Ross Ice Shelf Glacier in 2000.
- Iceberg A-38. Area, 4,288 square miles. Antarctica. Calved off the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf Glacier in 1998.
- Iceberg B-15a. Area, 3,980 square miles. Broke off Iceberg B-15 in 2000.
- Iceberg A-68. Antarctica. Area, 3,604 square miles. Calved off Larsen Ice Shelf Glacier, 2017.
Some Science Experiments
Next time your mom makes you take a bath, slip yourself slowly and carefully under water until just your neck and head are sticking up. Now, You’re an iceberg.
Ask your mom to throw in some ice cubes from the fridge and watch them float around you.
Play the ‘Float/Not Float’ game. Gather up small toys, items and see if they float in the bath.
Check your Smarty Pants Magazine for Kids for upcoming ‘cool’ Spring themes!
Here are some coloring pages.