What about those ice chunks?

March 13, 2016 | Captains bLOG | 0 comments | Author:

While exploring Alaska you may get the chance to see some floating ice. Most people call these ice chunks icebergs. Technically to be an iceberg by scientific definition, the ice chunk must have 15 feet of ice visible above the surface of the water.

Ice chunks range in size from bigger than a house to the size of a basketball.

Can you imagine how much ice exists below the surface!
Can you imagine how much ice exists below the surface!

So what are the different sizes of ice chunks called?

  • < 3 feet above the surface: brash ice
  • 3-7 feet above the surface: growlers
  • 7-15 feet above the surface: berry bits
  • > 15 feet above the surface: icebergs

How much of an iceberg do we see? In fresh water, ice tends to have about 10% of its mass above water. In salt water, ice chunks float slightly higher with about 15% of their mass above water. This is because salt water has a higher density than fresh water. The important thing to note is about 85% of the ice chunk is not visible! Its mind blowing to think about how much ice is not visible below the surface of the water! Check out National Geographic’s informative page about icebergs to learn more. http://education.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/iceberg/