sea ice


small needle-like ice crystals, typically 3 to 4 millimeters in diameter, suspended in water, that represent the first stages of sea ice growth; they merge under calm conditions to form thin sheets of ice on the surface, frazil crystals consist of nearly pure fresh water.
Frazil crystals. (Photo courtesy of Don Perovich, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.)

flooded sea ice

ice that is pushed into the underlying ocean water by the weight of thick snow cover on its surface; the salty ocean water floods the snow cover and creates a salty, slushy layer; flooded sea ice is more common in the antarctic because of more snowfall and thinner sea ice than in the arctic.
(Photo courtesy of Ted Maksym, Unites States Naval Academy.)


separate patch of floating ice or flat sheet of unbroken pack ice, greater than 20 meters (22 yards) across.

floating ice

any form of ice found floating in water.

flaw lead

a navigable passage between pack ice and fast ice.

first-year ice

floating ice of no more than one year's growth developing from young ice; thickness from 0.3 to 2 meters (1 to 6.6 feet); characteristically level where undisturbed by pressure, but where ridges occur, they are rough and sharply angular.
(Photo courtesy of Ted Maksym, United States Naval Academy.)

finger rafting

a process by which currents or winds push around thin ice so they slide over each other.
Nilas showing finger rafting. (Photo courtesy of Antarctic Sea-Ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt).)

fast ice

ice that is anchored to the shore or ocean bottom, typically over shallow ocean shelves at continental margins; fast ice is defined by the fact that it does not move with the winds or currents.
Note: This is land fast ice. (Photo courtesy of Michael Van Woert, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.)

drifting stations

research stations on the floes of the arctic ocean.

drift of ice

displacement of a sea ice field from its place of origin under the effect of ocean currents and winds.


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