Sunlight reflecting off iceberg near Mawson station
Sunlight reflecting off iceberg near Mawson station (Photo: Glenn Browning)
A floating iceberg shaped like a lizard’s headIcebergs near Davis stationBright yellow sunset with icebergs in the foregroundA tabular iceberg against a pink sunset.An inflatable rubber boat approaches an icebergSunset at DavisDisintegrating glacier bergLarge domed icebergDetail of tilted sloping icebergDetail of pinnacled iceberg with pink glow of evening light over horizon.An iceberg illuminated with low angle evening sunlight bringing out various shades of blueWeathered iceberg

An iceberg is the term for a massive piece of ice of greatly varying shape, protruding more than 5 metres above sea-level, which has broken away from a glacier, and which may be afloat or aground.

There are many types of icebergs, and they can be described as tabular, dome-shaped, sloping, pinnacled, dry-docked, blocky, weathered or glacier bergs in addition to having a size qualifier.

Besides a variety of shapes and sizes, icebergs sometimes appear with unusual colouring.

Glacier berg

An irregularly shaped iceberg.

Tabular berg

A flat-topped iceberg. Most tabular bergs form by calving from an ice shelf and show horizontal banding.

Domed iceberg

An iceberg which is smooth and rounded on top.

Sloping iceberg

An iceberg which is rather flat on top and with steep vertical sides on one end, sloping to lesser sides on the other end.

Pinnacled iceberg

An iceberg with a central spire or pyramid, with one or more spires.

Dry-docked iceberg

An iceberg which is eroded such that a U-shaped slot is formed near or at water level, with twin columns or pinnacles. This is also referred to as a twinned iceberg.

Blocky iceberg

A flat-topped iceberg with steep vertical sides.

Weathered iceberg

An iceberg that shows marked signs of deterioration from the effects of atmosphere and ocean.

Ice island

A large piece of floating ice protruding about 5m above sea-level, which has broken away from an Arctic ice shelf, having a thickness of 30–50m and an area of from a few thousand square metres to 500km² or more, and usually characterised by a regularly undulating surface which gives it a ribbed appearance from the air.