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Science & Technology

Icebergs have their own sound signatures

By T.K. Randall
January 31, 2015 · Comment icon 1 comment

Ice is breaking away to form new icebergs all the time. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Christine Zenino
Scientists have discovered that it is possible to monitor icebergs by listening to their acoustics.
Icebergs are formed when large pieces of ice break away from glaciers or ice shelfs, a process that can be highly unpredictable.

Researchers from universities in the US, UK and Poland however found that different types of icebergs could be identified from their acoustic signatures and that by placing underwater microphones near the Hans Glacier in Svalbard they were able to monitor the process of ice breaking away from the main flow.

"Using acoustics, we can get very accurate data and we can collect this data continuously," said geophysicist Oskar Glowacki from the Polish Academy of Sciences. "We just place the hydrophones - underwater microphones - in the water and listen to the sounds."
The data collected by the team has made it possible to determine what type of icebergs are forming and to monitor how far along the break up has progressed, even when it's happening underwater.

"It was really, really difficult to study these submarine events," said Dr Glowacki.

"We know now that when a submarine event starts, there is a disintegration below the sea surface, there are many cracks, and cracks are propagating and we can listen to this underwater."

The research team is hoping to be able to use these new techniques to keep a close eye on the rate at which the ice is being lost from the glacier due to increasing global temperatures.

Source: BBC News | Comments (1)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
Like "The Bloop" gee that had some imaginations going! Link - The Bloop

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