Seabed Gouging by Ice: Discover 6 Amazing Photographs of Iceberg Scours and Gouges

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These strange and somewhat unexpected forms have been carved and dug (pockmarks: craters in seabed caused by fluids – gas and liquids – erupting and streaming through the sediments) by glaciers and icebergs in the seabed sediments. Let’s discover some of the weirdest!

 

1. Gigantic “9” Carved in the Barents Sea sediments. It makes you think icebergs can count? Well at least one! And it’s probably the world’s largest digit 9 as its drawing would have had required a 60 meter wide pen.

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This gigantic “9” is 3281 ft. long, drawn with a 197 ft. wide pen, printed 26 ft. down in the sediments 820 ft. below sea level in the Barents Sea. Photo: Mareano

These lines and scribbles on the seabed have been made when glaciers overturned during the last ice age. Before starting their travel accross the world following the global ocean currents, some have come in contact with the ocean floor. As the sea bottom is soft and mostly consists of fine-grained sediments, mainly gravel containing cla, icebergs leave sometimes astonishing seabed scours.

 

2. Dragonfly on the bottom of the of the Norwegian Sea. Such large dragonflies never existed on Earth. But they exist on seabeds

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Dragonfly on the bottom of the of the Norwegian Sea. Photo: Mareano

 

How are these ocean floor maps created?

As part of the mapping process images of the seabed are captured by means of pulses from a surface vessel. Sound pulses are reflected from the bottom and all measuring points are used to create a terrain model of the seabed.

 

3. Ornamental seabirds’ head. These iceberg marks in the Barents Sea form a kind of bird’s head. Do they tweet?

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The main scour is 170 meters wide and 10 meters deep. Pockmarks (kind in the area are 20 feet in diameter and about 2 meters deep. Water depth: approx. 290 meters. Photo: Mareano

 

4. Oceanic dorsal? This iceberg didn’t dig into the ground but created a small “hill” range.  This formation is still unexplained but some glaciers have already raised seabed behind them.

different scours carved by icebergs on seabed
Upsidedown: This underwater dorsal is 170 meters wide and six feet high. It is still unexplained why it occurred. Photo: Mareano

 

5. Arabic Message? After the amazing “9” from above, it seems that icebergs were also trying to learn arabic. Better in the world of today.

strange scours left by icebergs in seabed sediments
Is this an arab message? The channel on the left side is 1500 m wide at the widest point of the image, and 15 feet deep. The largest pockmarks are 30 feet in diameter. The scours that looks like Arabic script has a width of 100 meters, and the depth of 7 meters. Water depth approx. 260 meters. Photo: Mareano

 

6. Post Scriptum (P.S.) I forgot this one! I really start to believe icebergs can speak our language!

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The main scour is 122 fett wide and 24 feet deep (8m). Largest pockmarks are 22m (66 feet) wide. Note that this large scour underlines the P.S. or signature. Photo: Mareano

The project Mareano maps depth, bottom conditions, biodiversity, habitats and pollution in sediments in Norwegian coastal and marine areas.

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