only the tip of the iceberg

only the tip of the iceberg

Just a small, often unrepresentative portion of something much larger or more complex that cannot yet be seen or understood. If Congress doesn't vote to extend the debt limit, a government shutdown will be only the tip of the iceberg of problems. The flooding is bad, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. A huge spate of environmental disasters are on the horizon because of climate change.
See also: iceberg, of, tip

the tip of the iceberg

Only a small, often unrepresentative portion of something much larger or more complex that cannot yet be seen or understood. If congress doesn't vote to extend the debt limit, a government shutdown will only be the tip of the iceberg. The flooding is bad, but we're dealing with just the tip of the iceberg—a huge spate of environmental disasters are on the horizon because of climate change.
See also: iceberg, of, tip
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.