Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Sharon, a parent:

if an iceberg can be seen 10% or 70 meters above the water, what is the measurement in meters of the iceberg below the surface of the water?


If 10% of the height of the iceberg is above the water then 90% is below the water. Thus the height of the iceberg below the water is 9 times the height above the water line.



We cannot tell. The density of ice is 0.917 g/cm3 and that of sea water is about 1.03 c/cm3, so the volume of ice below the surface must be roughly ten times that above. But a wide flat plate of floating ice could in theory support a very tall pinnacle; heights and depths are not related. (We can probably assume the submerged part is wider, so the "draft" will be at most ten times the height)


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