Iceberg: meaning of the term, characteristics


What is an iceberb, meaning and definition of this term used to define huge masses of floating ice present in different sizes in the colder seas and oceans.

Definition of Iceberg

It is an enormous mass of ice, having very variable dimensions, formed as a result of the detachment from continental glaciers or polar barriers, due to the action of wave motion and tides.


The icebergs, which move to lower latitudes due to the push exerted by winds and sea currents, often representing a great danger for navigation.

The emerging portion of an iceberg is very small compared to the submerged one, corresponding to about 15% of the total, a value that is closely related to the density of the ice and the temperature of the sea water, as well as to its degree of salinity.

Antarctic iceberg

The icebergs that detach from the Antarctic glacier can also extend for some tens of kilometers and can be kept for a variable time between one and a few tens of years.

Arctic iceberg

Arctic icebergs have rather irregular shapes, with a very shifted center of gravity which can sometimes even cause them to overturn.

According to the calculations of some scholars, about twenty thousand icebergs are released every year from the Arctic glaciers.

The debris contained in the ice, when it melts, precipitates on the seabed, causing considerable accumulations over time, including the one from which the Terranova Banks are derived.

The Iceberg Model (June 2022)

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