Frozen Water: Grand Scale Ice Formations
Rivers of ice and floating ice islands help to regulate the planet’s temperature, control currents, provide water – and they are rapidly disappearing. One can’t help but appreciate their raw beauty as well.
(Images via Madhouse Thought, Weather Savvy, das.uwyo.edu, SPRI, Seaway and hickerphoto)
Icebergs are fast melting along with the polar ice caps and glaciers. It’s a shame; not only are they ecologically valuable, they’re amazing displays of nature’s artistry. Here are images of a variety of some stunning shapes and beautiful bergs. Note the tabular iceberg (table-shaped) and the artistic marbled iceberg.
(Images via Earth Observatory and Wikimedia)
The world’s most famous iceberg, known as B-15, was originally part of the Ross Shelf but broke off (or “calved”) in 2000. It then broke up into three still-massive chunks, one of them – B-15A – being the largest floating object in the world at 17×76 miles in size. It continued to sail on, breaking up further and engaging in several collisions along the way. It lodged in McMurdo Sound in 2005, and its presence was significant enough to prevent proper ocean current action that normally breaks up sea ice in McMurdo. In 2006, a powerful wave traveling all the way from Alaska broke up B-15A into further smaller pieces and it was hailed as “the death” of the world’s most famous iceberg.
(Images via rutasur, montana.edu, omega and DSN)
Glaciers are simply accumulated snow, packed densely into ice over thousands, even millions, of years. Glaciers serve an important function as ecosystem regulators and water suppliers (they are the largest single source of fresh water), and the heating of the planet has led to major glacier shrinkage around the world in the last decade. Some of the most famous glaciers are located in the Himalayas and Alaska, but glaciers can be found in many places around the globe. These rivers of ice are so powerful, they create a “glacial” effect, and visible signs of glacial carving can be seen throughout the world.