What happens to the water level when an iceberg melts?

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Brigitta Frantl

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Brigitta Frantl  asked the Naked Scientists:
My question refers to icebergs and water levels. When water freezes it expands. That means that the ice from an iceberg which is submerged takes up more volume/space in the water than if it were water.

If only the submerged ice would melt, would the water level not drop, as the water takes up less volume than the ice?

Seeing that the part of an iceberg that is above the water level is relatively small, can that volume of ice compensate for the volume difference of the ice / water that is submerged? In other words, if an iceberg melts would the water level not stay the same?

What do you think?


Offline Don_1

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What happens to the water level when an iceberg melts?
« Reply #1 on: 04/12/2009 09:58:18 »
Yes Brigitta, An iceberg displaces a volume of water equal to itself, so no difference to the water level when it melts. There would only be a difference in sea levels where inland ice melts, such as the Greenland glaciers.
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