sea ice

draft

the thickness of sea ice extending below the water level. Draft and freeboard comprise total sea ice thickness.

sea ice thickness diagram

Freeboard and draft comprise sea ice thickness. Image courtesy Walt Meier.

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freeboard

the thickness of sea ice protruding above the water level. Freeboard and draft comprise total sea ice thickness.

sea ice thickness diagram

Freeboard and draft comprise sea ice thickness. Image courtesy Walt Meier.

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ice area

the region covered by sea ice, typically given in square kilometers. For a grid cell, it is the area of the portion of the cell covered by ice. For an entire hemisphere, it is the total area covered by ice, which corresponds to sum of the area of each cell multiplied by the fractional concentration for that cell.

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Broken ice floes in the Weddell Sea
6 December 2016

November 2016 brought record-low sea ice extents in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

young ice

a general category of ice that represents the transition between nilas and first-year ice; usually 10 to 30 centimeters (4 to 12 inches) thick.
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very open pack ice

pack ice composed of loose, widely spaced floes; ice cover 1/10th to 3/10th.
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very close pack ice

pack ice in which the floes are tightly packed but not frozen together, with very little, if any, sea water visible; ice cover practically 10/10th.
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thermodynamic equilibrium thickness

the thickness at which ice no longer grows because it is so thick that heat from the ocean can no longer be conducted through the ice; it may take several years of growth and melt for ice to reach an equilibrium thickness.
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thaw hole

vertical hole in floating ice formed when a puddle melts through to the underlying water.

telescoped ice

deformed sea ice in which one piece has overridden another; also called rafted ice.
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