ERIC Number: EJ887960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Does Sea Level Change when a Floating Iceberg Melts?
Lan, Boon Leong
Physics Teacher, v48 n5 p328-329 May 2010
On the answer page to a recent "Figuring Physics" question, the cute mouse asks another question: "Does the [sea] water level change if the iceberg melts?" The conventional answer is "no." However, in this paper I will show through a simple analysis involving Archimedes' principle that the sea level will rise. The analysis shows the wrong conventional answer is due to the wrong assumption that water from a melted iceberg has the same density as seawater. An iceberg is freshwater ice. The sea level rise is essentially due to the difference in the density of seawater (1024 kg/m[superscript 3]) and freshwater (1000 kg/m[superscript 3]). A simple experiment, suitable as an introductory laboratory exercise, that validates the predicted sea level rise is presented at the end of the paper.
Descriptors: Oceanography, Water, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Science Experiments, Science Instruction
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://scitation.aip.org/tpt
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A