What Is An Iceberg? Everything You Need To Know

Have you ever seen a piece of freshwater ice floating on the surface of ocean water? Looks like a piece of a cloud in the stretched sky. That piece of ice is called Iceberg which forms when the glacier melts or breaks down into smaller chunks. Well, that was just a brief description – scroll down to learn more about icebergs.

What Exactly Is Iceberg?

When the glacier melts, a piece of ice breaks off from it through the process of calving, afterward, the ice floats on the surface of the extended ocean water. The icebergs are part of freshwater bodies, not saline water. The iceberg floats on the surface of the water due to the buoyant force. Interestingly, only a 1/10th portion of icebergs float on the surface of the ocean while the rest of the part is submerged below.

An Iceberg

What Is The Color Of the Iceberg?

Normally, the iceberg is white but some may also have greenish or bluish coloration. The difference in coloration is due to the presence of air bubbles. If the air bubbles are scattered, then it will give white color to the iceberg. If the bubbles are squeezed then they will give blue coloration. However, the green color of the iceberg is due to the algae which grows on the underside of the iceberg.

What Are The Measurements Of the Iceberg?

The average height of an iceberg above sea level measures about 3 to 250 feet or 1 to 75 meters and is approximately 100,000 to 200,000 metric tons heavy. Usually, icebergs are formed in the polar regions where the temperature range is – 15 to -20o C.

What Are The Types Of Icebergs?

Depending upon the size parameters, the icebergs are of the following types:

1:  Bergy Bits: The Bergy Bits are the medium-sized or large broken-off parts of the ice that are usually measured a size above sea level ranging from 3 to 250 feet and have a surface area of around 1,076 to 3,229 square feet.

Bergy Bits

2:  Growlers: These are small-sized fragments of ice that have a surface area of 215 square feet above sea level and a size of 3 meters.


What Is The Shape Of the Iceberg?

The iceberg is characterized by its shape, it may be:s

1:  Tabular Iceberg: These icebergs are flat from the top and have steep sides.

Tabular Iceberg

2:  Non-Tabular Iceberg: These icebergs have different shapes such as:

  • Dome: These icebergs are rounded from the top.
  • Pinnacle: It has one or more spires
  • Wedge: It has a steep edge from one side and a sloped edge from the other side.
  • Dry Dock: This iceberg erodes to form small channels.
  • Blocky:  It is flat from the top but has vertical sides.
Non-Tabular Iceberg

Which Is The Largest Iceberg Ever Recorded?

In November 2000, the largest iceberg was photographed by satellite, broken off from the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica region. It is about 295 km or 183 miles long and 37 km or 23 miles wide. The surface area of the biggest iceberg measure about 11,000 square km or 4,250 square miles whereas it is 3,000,000,000 metric tons heavy.

Do Icebergs Pose Any Danger?

Well yes, icebergs pose danger to ships especially. The North Atlantic region is known for having sharp, pointed as well as hidden icebergs that are strong enough to tear the bottom of the ship completely. The most popular misfortune occurred in 1912, a large ship The Titanic collided with an iceberg leading to the death of around 1,500 people.

Ship strikes with icebergs

Final Words

Icebergs are fragments, broken off from the glaciers, and float on the surface of the oceans. Typically, the icebergs are white but some may have green or blue coloration as well. The icebergs vary in size as well as in shape, however, these fragments are highly dangerous to the ships and damage them completely.

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.