Antarctica glossary

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Icebergs and
their descendants


A large floating body of ice broken off a glacier (a process called calving).

Bergy bit

An iceberg is downgraded to a bergy bit when - by melting, splitting or tumbling - it no longer rises at least 5 meters (16 feet) about water.


A bergy bit is downgraded to a "growler" when it no longer rises at least a meter (3 feet) above the waterline. Ship captains fear them because they are numerous and are hard to spot. Growlers have sunk many a vessel over the centuries. They derive their name from the ominous sound they make when rubbing against a hull.

Anchor ice (also
called ground ice)

An ice mass that is attached to the seabed or other fixed underwater object. It's immobile and can be a navigational hazard, especially when it is sizable and lies completely below water level.

Fast ice

A floating ice pane fastened to the shore or an iceberg.

For additional
glossary terms, click

PAGE ONE - "South Pole" definitions
PAGE THREE - More ice formations
PAGE FOUR - Other widely used terms

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