Difference Between Glacier and Iceberg (With Table)

Earth comprises almost 70% of the water necessary for living. Moreover, more than 60% of water consists of huge concentrations of ice known as glaciers and Iceberg. The majority of the Glacier and Iceberg are found in Greenland and Antarctica.

Glacier and Iceberg may seem similar in many aspects, such as physical appearance and origin, yet they are extremely different too.

Glacier vs Iceberg

The difference between Glacier and Iceberg is that Glacier is a huge pile of ice positioned on the land, whereas an Iceberg is a massive stack of ice floating in the water. Glaciers get bigger with time as they are positioned on the land, whereas icebergs melt away with time as they are always floating in the water.

Glacier is formulated by a huge stack of fallen snow that has been accumulated on land for thousands of years. Glacier gets bigger with time. It eventually grows bigger due to the accumulation of fallen snow at a specific place for many years. Moreover, it is found that Glacier has the potential to move around.

Iceberg is assembled by an enormous concentration of ice floating in the water. Most of the Iceberg is originated from the broken parts of glaciers caused by any destruction flowing in water. Iceberg does not remain for a long period as it melts away in water with time. Moreover, Iceberg is often found at high altitudes.

Comparison Table Between Glacier and Iceberg

Parameters of Comparison Glacier Iceberg
Definition Glacier is formed by huge blocks of fallen snow that have been accumulated over thousands of years on land.Iceberg is formed by an enormous concentration of ice floating in the water.
FormationThe glacier is formulated from fallen snow.Icebergs are formulated from broken parts of glaciers.
Origin Glacier is mostly found in high-altitude land regions of Greenland and Antarctica. Icebergs are mostly found in high-altitude water regions of Greenland and Antarctica.
SizeGlacier gets bigger with time and is enormous.Iceberg does not get bigger with time and are smaller in size.
ViewGlaciers are completely observable from top to bottom.Icebergs are not completely observable from top to bottom as they are submerged in water.

What is Glacier?

The glacier is a huge heap of moving ice that lies on the surface of the Earth and flows down towards the mountain shields due to its enormous weight. Glaciers are often originated where an immense amount of snowfall occurs every year. Moreover, due to these enormous amounts of snowfall, pressure is created on the layers of the earth resulting in huge stacks of ice.

Glacier is mostly found in high-altitude regions of Greenland, Antarctica, and the arctic regions of Canada. However, the glaciers found in non-high altitude regions are known as alpine Glaciers. These immense amounts of snowfall flow on the slopes of mountains and lands are investigated as Glaciers are the largest waterbody reservoir on earth.

Glaciers get larger with time as there is a continuous accumulation of snowfall for years. Moreover, Glaciers are completely noticeable from top to bottom as it lies on the surface of the earth. The climatic effect on Glaciers has a severe impact on sea-level changes.

The water obtained from Glacier is not completely safe for drinking purposes as it contains chemical organic and inorganic pollutant materials, dead animals, birds, human beings bodies, insects, and other waster materials decomposed for years. However, it is often used by mountain climbers for drinking and cleaning purposes.

What is Iceberg?

Iceberg is a cosmic stack of moving ice that floats on the water bodies found in high-altitude regions of Greenland and Antarctica. These cosmic stacks of moving ice from Glaciers break off from high altitude regions to move towards warmer lower altitude regions and stay submerged in water until it is completely melted.

Iceberg does not get bigger with time. Moreover, Icebergs are not completely noticeable from top to bottom as only 20% are observable and the rest 80% of the Icebergs cannot be observed as it is often submerged in water. Iceberg only lasts up to 2 to 4 years, and it’s rare to see Iceberg that lasts more than 2 to 4 years as it melts away rapidly.

Iceberg has the potential to move around in water bodies due to the effects of wind currents. Icebergs originated from the broken parts of Glaciers are in various shapes, varying from flats to domes. Moreover, Icebergs frequently get stuck in nearby islands, causing great concern for the wildlife living in the nearby areas.

Icebergs often are a great cause of concern as it lies on the water bodies such as oceans where it affects the wildlife, oceanic planktons and the ships traveling through the ocean.

Main Differences Between Glacier and Iceberg 

  1. Glacier is formulated by a huge stack of fallen snow that has been accumulated on land for thousands of years, whereas Iceberg is formulated by an enormous concentration of ice floating in the water.
  2. Glaciers are not seen in dissimilar shapes, where Icebergs can be seen in numerous shapes.
  3. Glaciers are positioned in the land, whereas Icebergs flows in water bodies.
  4. Glacier gets bigger with time, whereas Iceberg does not get bigger.
  5. Glaciers are formed from the fallen snow whereas, Iceberg is formulated from the broken parts of Glaciers.
  6. Glaciers are completely observable from top to bottom, whereas Icebergs are not completely observable from top to bottom.

Conclusion

Water comprises huge stacks of ice varying in numerous shapes known as Glaciers and Iceberg. Glaciers and Icebergs are mostly found in high altitude regions of the arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, and Antarctica. Glaciers and Icebergs are closely related to each other in various aspects such as physical appearance, origin, and many more, yet they are tremendously different too.

Glaciers and Icebergs are cosmic stacks of ice formed from the fallen snow accumulated for thousands of years. However, Glaciers get broken and move towards a non-polar region resulting in the formation of Icebergs. Glaciers are positioned on the land and are most noticeable from top to bottom. Icebergs are often found submerged in water bodies making it difficult to completely notice ts original size.

References

  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-glaciology/article/characterization-and-flexural-strength-of-iceberg-and-glacier-ice/BBAA52ED4E7B733E2F87FF583083A990
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-glaciology/article/description-of-the-iceberg-aircraft-carrier-and-the-bearing-of-the-mechanical-properties-of-frozen-log-pulp-upon-some-problems-of-glacier-run/BE12BCCE68FE5D9C307299A2F1F2DFC6
  3. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology/article/iceberg-properties-and-distributions-in-three-greenlandic-fjords-using-satellite-imagery/A9696493A23345C13DD36E378300A264
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