2013 proving to be banner year for icebergs
300 icebergs reportedly off southern Labrador
While 2013 is being described by some as a banner year for icebergs — there's been no visible signs of any so far on the southeast coast of Newfoundland.
Last year, huge crowds flocked to see icebergs in many coastal areas of Newfoundland and Labrador during a lengthy season.
Paul Veber, superintendent of ice operations with the Canadian Coast Guard, said there are currently 300 icebergs along southern Labrador.
"[That's] three or four times as many icebergs as we would usually see this time of year, but the thing is they're not making their way as far south as we typically would see this time of year," said Veber.
Veber said many factors influence their movement.
"It could be the current, the wind conditions, sea temperature ... they all have an effect on the icebergs."
But whatever the final count is this year, the life of an iceberg is an impressive one.
Stephen Bruneau is an iceberg expert and an associate professor of engineering at Memorial University.
This summer, he said an exceptionally large number of icebergs are floating past the coast.
"Numbers vary greatly each year, but 400 to 500 is about average," said Bruneau.
"Some years we might have zero — other years we might have a thousand."
Bruneau said that about 95 per cent of the icebergs we see in this province start their journey in Greenland.
"Huge chunks of ice break off ... they tend to be calved into Baffin Bay, pass through the Davis Strait and then make their way due south, from southern Labrador and then gradually trickle their way down Newfoundland's coast," he said.