B15: The world's largest iceberg • Earth.com

B15: The world's largest iceberg

Dubbed B15, the iceberg was the world’s largest recorded iceberg since satellite monitoring (and accurate measurements) began. It measured over 11,000 square kilometers in size, which was larger than the island of Jamaica and slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut.

An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that has broken off a glacier or an ice shelf and is floating freely in open (salt) water. Small bits of disintegrating icebergs are called “growlers” or “bergy bits”.

Much of an iceberg is below the surface which led to the expression “tip of the iceberg” to illustrate a small part of a larger unseen issue. Icebergs are considered a serious maritime hazard. The 1912 loss of the RMS Titanic led to the formation of the International Ice Patrol in 1914.B15: The world’s largest iceberg

Icebergs calved by glaciers that face the open sea, such as in Greenland, are irregular shaped piles. In Antarctica, ice shelves calve large tabular (table top) icebergs. The biggest iceberg ever recorded was Iceberg B-15A which split off the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in 2000.Icebergs may reach a height of more than 100 metres (300 ft) above the sea surface, and have mass ranging from about 100,000 tonnes up to more than 10 million tonnes. Icebergs or pieces of floating ice smaller than 5 meters above the sea surface are classified as “bergy bits”; smaller than 1 meter — “growlers”. The largest known iceberg in the North Atlantic was 168 metres (551 ft) above sea level, reported by the USCG icebreaker Eastwind in 1958, making it the height of a 55-story building. These icebergs originate from the glaciers of western Greenland and may have interior temperatures of −15 to −20 °C (5 to −4 °F).

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