Methods for Measuring the Area of Icebergs


Two Methods

Scientists generally use two methods to determine the size or area of tabular icebergs. These methods are described in the table below.


Geometric Shape
sizing icebergs with geometric shapes


A simple geometric shape is overlayed on top of the iceberg image. The shape is measured and its area hand calculated based on a scale of miles for the image. This method provides a very rough estimate of the iceberg’s area.


When precision is not necessary and you need a quick estimate.

When specialized software such is used in method 2 is not avaliable.


Pixel Count
sizing icebergs by counting pixels


Specialized software is used to trace the outer border of the iceberg image and automatically calculates the area for you. This method yields a fairly precise measurement.


When you need a precise measure of an iceberg’s area.

When the specialized software is available.


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