Exploring maths through problem solving

Problem of the Week

Iceberg View

People in Newfoundland, Canada saw this amazing sight of an iceberg 150 feet high above the water, sailing past their homes.

By measuring this image, approximately what would be the width of this iceberg at water level?


Because the iceberg is 3-dimensional and the view in the photo is not quite a front view, I have drawn a white line to mark what looks to be an edge of the iceberg.

I then drew red arrows over the diagram to show its maximum height and its width at water level. I then found out digitally, what the measurements of these arrows were.

I found the ratio of the height to the width (shown by the red arrows) to be approximately 2:3.

Knowing that the height of the iceberg is 150 feet, its width can be calculated using a ratio table.

In this table, the value in the left-hand column is multiplied by 1.5 to get the corresponding value in the right-hand column.

Height Width
2 3
1 1.5
150 feet 150 x 1.5 = 225 feet


Converting feet to metres online, 225 feet = 68.58 metres.

My measurements are not exact, so I would not write the width to 2 decimal places.

I would simply say that the width of the iceberg is approximately 70 metres.

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