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21 February, 2001

-64 44 Latitude

115 42 Longitude

Old Icebergs

Many things can happen to icebergs once they are "born". Some only move a short distance before they ground themselves on the continental shelf. Others slowly move away from the continent by way of wind and currents.

Where would you expect an iceberg to melt first: the top or the bottom? If you answered bottom you're right. Water is usually warmer than the surrounding air causing the bottom to melt first. That, in turn, causes the berg to become unstable and eventually to flip over. I just went to look at the air temperature and it's 0.4 c with and a toasty 1.3 c at the waters surface. We have seen several icebergs that have flipped over revealing their blue underbellies in the most beautiful shapes. Icebergs are also eroded and sculpted by the wind and waves forming natures own sculpture garden. I have found little information as to how long these works of art last, but eventually due to all the erosional actions they slowly melt away dropping their fresh water back once again into the ocean.

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