Jade Berg

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Amongst scientists there is still conjecture as to why Jade Icebergs are actually green. I was always led to believe that it was because when the glaciers the icebergs were formed by froze, they were towards the bottom of the ocean, so phytoplankton and other marine organisms froze into them, … (read more)

Amongst scientists there is still conjecture as to why Jade Icebergs are actually green. I was always led to believe that it was because when the glaciers the icebergs were formed by froze, they were towards the bottom of the ocean, so phytoplankton and other marine organisms froze into them, and hey, they're mostly green. It turns out, that is true (phytoplankton frozen into the glaciers)- but it's probably not the reason for the colour. Scientists now think perhaps it's nutrients, or minerals in the water that reacted to form the colour. Personally, I don't mind Antarctica retaining a bit of it's mystery.

Jade Icebergs are pretty rare occurrences. However they were formed, they're a bucket list item for most Antarctic Expeditioners. Typically, when sighted, the coordinates are waymarked on GPS and relayed back to station for others to be able to find. This isn't a guarantee though- blizzards, strong winds and powerful tides can make icebergs move about even throughout winter when the sea-ice is frozen solid, preventing too much movement along the coast. If you've ever used a GPS tracker, they also can have a mind of their own - particularly when travelling by quad bike on sea ice. Finding a Jade Berg was never guaranteed.

There is something to be said for the colour of the berg. The sunlight seems to light them just right so they become emerald, any snow just serves as further contrast to the deep blue green hues. This was the second Jade Berg I'd seen during my time exploring around Davis Station. I'm still not entirely convinced that the two very different icebergs weren't infact the same one, flipped over and moved about by the summer sea ice thaw. The colours, and the mystery of the forms still intrigue me- and there is nothing quite like a sunset through a jade iceberg to get your imagination flowing.


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Comments

I've seen photographs of Jade icebergs before and never realized they were actually Jade/Green in colour. Thought the photographs had been tinted. Great to have the explanations but like you, I like to feel there is still that special something in natures bounty that can never be explained by the human mind. ♥︎♥︎⚖️♥︎♥︎

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