James HC Fenton


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Icebergs and Bergy Bits: Polar landscapes

I have always had an obsession for ice and snow, and when in polar regions I find it very difficult to stop myself taking photographs of icebergs. They exhibit a fascinating, multifarious array of shapes, no two ever the same. I have now put together a selection of iceberg pictures, summer and winter, to create the above gallery.

Most large Antarctic icebergs derive from broken-off bits of floating ice-shelf. These kinds can be spotted by their flat tops (see photos 62 to 67). However on breaking up they can tip over, their flat tops no longer horizontal and their previous underwater parts now visible as a smooth surface (see photo 52). The bergs subsequently erode into a myriad of forms.

Floating ice shelves accumulate snow on an annual basis, with the annual fall of snow visible in bergs as obvious strata like rings on a tree (see photo 39). If the berg rotates ninety-degrees these strata can appear as vertical bars (see photo 12).

Pictures 1 to 67 were taken in the Antarctic, picture 68 in East Greenland and pictures 69 to 81 around Svalbard in the Arctic.

All but three of the pictures were taken while I was working for the British Antarctic Survey or Lindblad Expeditions. I thank these two organisations for providing me with an opportunity to visit these remote and exciting places.

See also

A Field Guide
o Ice