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Jade and striped icebergs

Jade and striped icebergs. “When seawater at depths of more than 1,200 feet freezes to the underside of massive ice shelves like East Antarctica’s Amery Ice Shelf, it forms ‘marine ice.’ Enormous hunks of ice calve—or break off—from the ice shelf, creating icebergs. When one of these icebergs overturns, its jade underside is revealed. The wondrous color of this ‘marine ice’ results from organic matter dissolved in the seawater at those great depths,” explainedAudubon Magazine. “Green icebergs are infrequently seen because their verdant bellies are underwater; it’s only when they flip over, a rare event, that their richly colored regions can be seen before they melt. Striped icebergs, perhaps even more scarce than jade bergs, are thought to form in one of two ways: either meltwater refreezes in crevasses formed atop glaciers before they calve icebergs (creating blue stripes), or seawater freezes inside cracks beneath ice shelves (creating green stripes).” Photos by Steve Nicol via Australian Antarctic Division & Steve Nicol via Australian Government