A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | all


the solid crystalline form of water.

ice apron

a mass of ice adhering to a mountainside.

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.


ice blink

white glare on the underside of low clouds indicating presence of ice which may be beyond the range of vision.

ice cake

a floe smaller than 20 meters (66 feet) across.

ice canopy

pack ice from the point of view of the submariner.

ice cap

a dome-shaped mass of glacier ice that spreads out in all directions; an ice cap is usually larger than an icefield but less than 50,000 square-kilometers (12 million acres).
Ellesmere Island, Canada

ice cave

a natural bedrock cave that contains year-round ice.

Photograph of the Great Hall of Scarisoara Ice Cave in Romania

This photograph shows a 22-meter thick ice block along with ice stalactites and stalagmites in the Great Hall of Scarisoara Ice Cave, Romania.  (Photograph courtesy Aurel Persoiu)


ice cluster

a concentration of sea ice, covering 100's of square kilometers, which is found in the same region every summer.

ice concentration

the fraction of an area that is covered by sea ice. Ice concentration typically is reported as a percentage (0 to 100 percent ice), a fraction from 0 to 1, or sometimes in tenths (0/10 to 10/10).


ice content

the amount of ice contained in frozen or partially frozen soil or rock.

ice core

a core sample drilled from the accumulation of snow and ice over many years that have recrystallized and have trapped air bubbles from previous time periods, the composition of which can be used to reconstruct past climates and climate change; typically removed from an ice sheet (Antarctica and Greenland) or from high mountain glaciers elsewhere.

ice covered

land overlaid at present by a glacier is said to be covered; the alternative term glacierized has not found general favour.

ice divide

the boundary separating opposing flow directions of ice on a glacier or ice sheet.

ice edge

the boundary at any given time between open water and sea, river or lake ice of any kind, whether drifting or fast; may be termed compacted when it is clear-cut, or open when it forms the indefinite edge of an area of dispersed ice.
Aerial view of the sea ice edge. (Photo courtesy of Todd Arbetter, National Snow and Ice Data Center.)

ice extent

the total area covered by some amount of ice, including open water between ice floes; ice extent is typically reported in square kilometers. Extent defines a region as either "ice-covered" or "not ice-covered." A threshold determines this labeling. A typical threshold is 15 percent, meaning that if the data cell has greater than 15 percent ice concentration, the cell is labeled as "ice-covered." Sea Ice Index products have a threshold of 15 percent. A threshold can also be as high as 30 percent.

ice floe

a cohesive sheet of ice floating in the water; the sea ice cover is made up of conglomerates of floes; ice floes are not unique to sea ice, as they also occur in rivers and lakes.
Aerial view of ice floes.

ice fog

a suspension of numerous minute ice crystals in the air, reducing visibility at the earth's surface; the crystals often glitter in the sunshine; ice fog produces optical phenomena such as luminous pillars and small haloes.

ice fringe

a very narrow ice piedmont, extending less than about 1 km inland from the sea.

ice front

the vertical cliff forming the seaward face of an ice shelf or other floating glacier, varying in height from 2 to 50 meters (2.2 to 55 yards) above sea level.

Ice gland

A column of ice in the granular snow at the top of a glacier.

ice island

a form of tabular berg found in the Arctic Ocean, with a thickness of 30 - 50 meters (33 to 55 yards) and an area from a few thousand square meters to 500 square kilometers (123,550 acres); ice islands often have an undulating surface, which gives them a ribbed appearance from the air.

ice jam

an accumulation of broken river or sea ice caught in a narrow channel.

ice keel

from the point of view of the submariner, a downward-projecting ridge on the underside of the ice canopy; the counterpart of a ridge; ice keels may extend as much as 50 meters (55 yards) below sea level.

ice lens

a dominantly horizontal, lens-shaped body of ice of any dimension.

ice limit

the average position of the ice edge in any given month or period based on observations over a number of years.

ice patrol ship

a research ship which performs ice surveys in polar regions.

ice pellet

precipitation of small balls or pieces of ice (hailstones) with a diameter ranging from 5 to 50 millimeters (0.2 to 2.0 inches), or sometimes more, falling either separately or agglomerated into irregular lumps; when the diameter is less that about 5 millimeters (0.2 inch), the balls are called ice pellets.

ice piedmont

ice covering a costal strip of low-lying land backed by mountains; the surface of an ice piedmont slopes gently seawards and may be anything from 1 to 50 kilometers (0.6 to 31 miles) wide, fringing long stretches of coastline with ice cliffs; ice piedmonts frequently merge into ice shelves; a very narrow ice piedmont may be called an ice fringe.

ice prisms

a fall of unbranched ice crystals, in the form of needles, columns, or plates, often so tiny that they seem to be suspended in the air; these are visible mainly when they glitter in the sunshine (diamond dust); they may then produce a luminous pillar or other halo phenomena; this hydrometeor, which is frequent in polar regions, occurs at very low temperatures and in stable air masses.

ice quake

a shaking of ice caused by crevasse formation or jerky motion.

ice rind

a brittle, shiny crust of floating ice, formed on a quiet surface by direct freezing or from grease ice, usually in water of low salinity; thickness less than 5 centimeters (2 inches); easily broken by wind or swell, commonly breaking into rectangular pieces.

ice rise

a mass of ice resting on rock and surrounded either by an ice shelf, or partly by an ice shelf and partly by sea; no rock is exposed and there may be none above sea level; ice rises often have a dome-shaped surface; the largest known is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) across.

ice segregation

the formation of discrete layers or lenses of segregated ice in freezing mineral or organic soils, as a result of the migration (and subsequent freezing) of pore water.

ice sheet

a dome-shaped mass of glacier ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50,000 square kilometers (12 million acres) (e.g., the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets).

ice shelf

portion of an ice sheet that spreads out over water.