Michael A. Stecker

Digiphoto Home Page
Alaska   Albuquerque balloons   Antarctica   Astronomical Sites   Chile   Clouds   Egypt   England   Flowers
   infrared   Monument Valley   Nepal   New England's autumn leaves   New Zealand   
scenic treasures   Switzerland   Tahiti   Yosemite in Spring   Yosemite in Winter

other iceberg pages
icebergs of Chile    Antarctica Photos

Their Physical Characteristics
Icebergs are beautiful fragmented shapes of freshwater ice usually found floating in the ocean. They originate from a mass of ice that has broken off a glacier (called a calcen) and has fallen into a nearby body of water. They are therefore of freshwater origin from precipitation (snow) that formed the glacier. In contrast, sea ice is frozen sea water of salty content. Icebergs come in different colors -- white, cyan, light blue, dark blue and green. White is the standard color and is a result of many tiny air bubbles in the superficial snow and ice reflecting and scattering all colors of light -- i.e appears white. In contrast, blue icebergs are made up of ice deep within the glacier which has compressed most of the air out of the ice and has very few air bubbles, so it shows its natural blue color. The ice now tends to absorb light in the red region of the spectrum and the light that you see from this kind of an iceberg will appear blue. Although icebergs are from newly broken off glaciers (that may be thousand years old), they're often mixed with flecks of black and brown from ground up rock. Their unusual shapes are caused by weathering effects from wind, waves and melting. Some of the icebergs that have broken off of the Antarctic ice shelves have been monsters - one was the size of the state of Conneticut! In the Arctic, icebergs are smaller. Car or house-sized icebergs are sometimes called "growlers." The smallest icebergs are known as "bergy bits".

For a more technical discussion of the blue color of water and ice, see: http://webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/5B.html


Iceberg Photos from Antarctica
mouse click on any of the thumbnail images below for an enlargement


Antarctic Waters





















Paradise Bay, Antarctica







































Iceberg from Chile
(Laguna San Rafael)
The photos below were all from Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael and have their origin in the San Rafael Glacier located in the Asien region of southern Chile between Chiloe Island and Torres del Paine.  This glacier-filled, 4.2 million acre park in Pacific coastal Patagonia encompassing some of the most spectacular fjords, mountain scenery and icebergs in Chile.
mouse click on any of the thumb nail images below for an enlargement