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    The sun sets through a hole melted in an iceberg floating in the Nuup Kangerlua Fjord near Nuuk in southwestern Greenland, Tuesday Aug. 1, 2017.

    'Natural History Milestone': Danish Robot Peeks at Icebergs From Below (VIDEO)

    © AP Photo / David Goldman
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    So far, it has been assumed that icebergs below the ocean surface are trapezoidal. This conviction, however, has been challenged by Danish researchers who have made a complete 3D scan of icebergs off the coast of Greenland with the help of an innovative contraption poised to give ice lore a huge boost.

    An underwater robot created by Danish researchers of the Aarhus University is predicted to revolutionize glaciology through developing precise models for the melting of icebergs, the daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported.

    Icebergs can have a surface that covers thousands of football pitches, but so far, scientists based their calculations of the shape and the size of the icebergs on guesstimates rather than factual data. NorthROV is the first apparatus of its kind that gives researchers access to study icebergs in their full size all year round.

    Through a comprehensive 3D scan of the waters off the coast of Greenland, the group of three Danish engineering students dispelled the entrenched belief that icebergs are trapezoidal underwater by establishing that they can actually take a variety of forms. NorthROV, which took a couple of months to build, came in handy as it provided the researchers with invaluable material from the cold depths.

    ​"In fact, we saw was not close to trapezoidal, but rather round with a lot of snowy waterways, big tubes and deep holes," student Robert Søndergaard told Jyllands-Posten.

    According to glaciologist Daniel Carlson of the Arctic Research Center at Aarhus University, the underwater robot can play a pivotal role in arctic research.

    READ MORE: Not So Pristine: Aerated Plastics Found on Atlantic Icebergs — Professor

    "It is a natural history and research milestone that we now have access to study icebergs underwater. It enriches the scientific insight into icebergs as natural phenomena, but it also allows engineers to develop precise calculation models for how they melt," Carlson commented.

    The creators of NorthROV have qualified for the World Championship in robot design for university students which is set to kick off in May.


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    iceberg, robot, Scandinavia, Greenland, Arctic, Denmark
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