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The 'Titanic iceberg' gets stuck

Only the mightiest icebergs make it down to the shipping lanes. In 1909, Ilulissat was producing just one or two of these mega bergs each year. Some time in the summer months one such megalith would have started towards its date with destiny. Perhaps a mile long, it might have displaced a billion tonnes of sea water. It would have dwarfed even the Titanic.

Julian Dowdeswell of the Scott Polar Research Institute explains that it would have taken the Titanic iceberg over a year to edge its way down the 40 mile fjord. Throughout this journey, the massive berg was under assault, being battered and eroded by the relentless jostling of other bergs. In this first year of life the iceberg would have halved its birth weight. But it was still a giant, capable of turning lesser bergs upside down.

Where the Ilulissat fjord meets the sea, the Titanic iceberg would have been stopped in its tracks, bottlenecked in the shallow mouth of the fjord. The Titanic iceberg was stuck.


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