An Iceberg Roars

Listening to the frozen ocean

iceberg-logoWhat is the sound of an iceberg disintegrating? Would you believe it’s as loud as a hundred supertankers plying the open seas? OSU scientists were astounded recently when they listened to recordings of an iceberg that had formed in Antarctica, floated into the open ocean, and eventually melted and broke apart. Scientists have dubbed this phenomenon an “icequake.”

“The process and ensuing sounds are much like those produced by earthquakes,” explains marine geologist Robert Dziak, who has monitored ocean sounds using hydrophones for nearly two decades. The researchers want to establish the natural sound levels in the world’s oceans to better understand how noise from drilling, shipping and other human activities fits in and how it affects marine life.

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