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ERIC Number: EJ887960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
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.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A