HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

June 9, 2008
Harvard Square Pictorial

Amazing Ice

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Icebergs in the Antarctic area sometimes have stripes, formed by  layers of snow that react to different conditions.

Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet  fills up with meltwater and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form.

When an iceberg falls into the sea, a layer of salty seawater can  freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a  green stripe.

Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the sea.
In Antarctica, water freezes the instant waves break through the ice.  That's what it is like in Antarctica where it is the coldest weather in decades.  Water freezes the instant it comes in contact with the air.  The temperature of the water is already some degrees below freezing.