icebergs and ice shelves


the processes of ablation and accumulation which gradually eliminate irregularities in an ice surface.

tide crack

the fissure at the line of junction between an immovable icefoot or ice wall and fast ice, the latter being subject to the rise and fall of the tide.

tabular berg

a flat-topped iceberg that shows horizontal banding; typically form by breaking from an ice shelf.

strand crack

a fissure at the junction between an inland ice sheet, ice piedmont or ice rise and an ice shelf, the latter being subject to the rise and fall of the tide.

inland ice sheet

an ice sheet of considerable thickness and an area of more than about 50,000 square kilometers (12.4 million acres), resting on rock; inland ice sheets near sea level may merge into ice shelves.


an embayment in an ice front, often of temporary nature, where ships can moor alongside and unload directly into the ice shelf.

iceberg tongue

a major accumulation of icebergs projecting from the coast, held in place by grounding and joined together by fast ice.


a piece of ice that has broken off from the end of a glacier that terminates in water.
Lamplugh Glacier, in Glacier Bay Alaska, shows the terminus of a typical tidewater glacier. The terminus of the glacier is heavily crevassed and jagged, and is calving small icebergs. For scale, note the man standing on the rocks in the foreground (near the center of the photograph). This...

ice wall

an ice cliff forming the seaward margin of an inland ice sheet, ice piedmont or ice rise; the rock basement may be at or below sea level.

ice shelf

portion of an ice sheet that spreads out over water.


Subscribe to RSS - icebergs and ice shelves