The word iceberg It comes from the English language, although its origin dates back to the Germanic concept ijsberg. It is a large floating ice mass , detached from a glacier or an ice shelf, whose upper part protrudes from the sea surface.
Glaciers are masses of ice that originate on the earth's surface by compacting and recrystallizing snow. The iceberg, meanwhile, are large masses of sweet ice, which are usually dragged by sea currents. As usual, barely an eighth of its total volume stands out , while the rest is submerged. This feature makes iceberg a great danger to navigation.
The existence of iceberg is possible since water has a lower density when it is in a solid state than in a liquid state. Therefore, ice can float on the surface and does not sink to the bottom of the ocean .
Ice also has the peculiarity of being crystalline in the face of the electrical polarization of water molecules (H2O ). The oxygen atom exerts a greater attraction to electrons than hydrogen atoms. In this way, ice has a lower density than that of amorphous solids.
There are many theories about how iceberg formation takes place , many people consider that it is due to a phenomenon that escapes the known until now by man, as if within the earth there was an immense spring that connects with the surface in the Antarctic territory and allows the formation of these ice blocks; However, this theory has not been widely disseminated and its authors Reed and Gardner They do not enjoy great popularity.
The most accepted scientific explanation on this subject is the one that awards this phenomenon to glacier detachment. During the summer period, the ice of these immense walls weakens and immense chunks fall into the ocean where they begin to move using the current and winds to open spaces.
If on the way the iceberg reaches warm waters, it melts; however, many of them end up anchored in Antarctic things and can reach stay years or decades in that place.
The danger of these icebergs
These plates floating in the ocean pose a serious danger to the boats, because when a large percentage of the upper part of them has already been worn by the sun and wind effect, and only a weak iceberg can be seen floating above the surface, there is still a large piece of iceberg under water that may be enough to cause a ship to break down or tip it over.
Today there are many tools available to sailors to detect these icebergs and ford, but in ancient times they were responsible for a large percentage of shipwrecks.
There are many cases of accidents of this type . The best known is the one who suffered the ocean liner known as Titanic , in the year 1912.
This boat left Southampton on April 10 for the United States, however it never arrived in this country. Five days after your departure, it hit a giant iceberg and sank into the ocean. It was about 600 km from Newfoundland, a very favorable area for iceberg sighting. The crash caused several hull plates to open that allowed water to enter the containment holes and therefore, the front part of the ship began to submerge, while the stern rose.
Passengers who could not be rescued, they died of hypothermia to fall at cold waters Continental In total 1500 people died, of 2210 who had approached the Titanic. Of the 710 survivors, most of them were women and children, because the rescue protocol forced them to be the first to board the lifeboats.