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The transition between two areas of pack ice with distinctly different concentrations

Related Terms


A band of pack ice from 1 km to more than 100 km in width.


Sea ice which forms and remains attached to the shore, to an ice wall, to an ice front, between shoals or grounded icebergs. Vertical fluctuations may be observed during changes of sea level. Fast ice may be formed in situ from the sea water or by freezing of pack ice of any age to the shore, and it may extend a few meters or several hundred kilometers from the coast. Fast ice may be more than 1 year old and may then be prefixed with the appropriate age category (old, second-year or multi-year). If it is thicker than about 2 meters above sea level, it is called an ICE SHELF.


The ice boundary at any given time between fast ice and pack ice


A narrow separation zone between pack ice and fast ice, where the pieces of ice are in a chaotic state. The flaw forms when pack ice shears under the effect of a strong wind or current along the fast- ice boundary. See also SHEARING.


A passage-way between pack ice and fast ice which is navigable by surface vessels


A polynya between pack ice and fast ice


The demarcation at any given time between fast ice and pack ice or between areas of pack ice of different concentrations.


An area of pack ice consisting of floes of any size, which is greater than 10 kilometers (5.4 nautical miles) across. Ice fields are subdivided according to areal extent. A large ice field is over 11 nautical miles across; a medium ice field is 8 to 11 nautical miles across; a small ice field is 5.4 to 8 nautical miles across. uniform system of maritime


An area of pack ice less than 5.4 nautical miles (l0 kilometers) across.


The term used in a wide sense to include any area of sea ice, other than fast ice, no matter what form it takes or how it is disposed.

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