November 24, 2005
Scientists Discover Singing Iceberg in Antarctica
BERLIN (Reuters) - Scientists monitoring earth movements in Antarctica believe they have found a singing iceberg.
Sound waves from the iceberg had a frequency of around 0.5 hertz, too low to be heard by humans, but by playing them at higher speed the iceberg sounded like a swarm of bees or an orchestra warming up, the scientists said.
The German Alfred Wegener institute for polar and marine research publish the results of its study, done in 2002, in Science magazine on Friday.
Between July and November 2002 researchers picked up acoustic signals of unprecedented clarity when recording seismic signals to measure earthquakes and tectonic movements on the Ekstroem ice shelf on Antarctica's South Atlantic coast.
Tracking the signal, the scientists found a 50 by 20 kilometer iceberg that had collided with an underwater peninsula and was slowly scraping around it.
"Once the iceberg stuck fast on the seabed it was like a rock in a river," said scientist Vera Schlindwein. "The water pushes through its crevasses and tunnels at high pressure and the iceberg starts singing."
"The tune even goes up and down, just like a real song."