summary of ice

Summary of Ice forms

This post will briefly describe about the different types of Ice forms and general information about each form. This will help you remember each form in practical and also during your exams.

Also, Read “Ice at Sea” to know more about types of ice found at sea, formation and deformation of ice, here

Summary of Ice forms

Type of ice Form of Ice Thickness (cm) Remarks
New Ice Frazil Ice Ice Spicules
Grease Ice ≤ 2.5 Soupy layer on sea surface giving matt appearance
Slush Saturated snow on ice surfaces, or viscous floating mass in water after a snowfall
Shuga Spongy white ice lumps
Nilas Dark & Light Niles ≤ 10 Thin elastic crust of ice with matt surface
Ice rind ≤ 5 Brittle shiny crust of ice
Young Ice Grey Ice 10-15 Less elastic than Niles and breaks on swell. Usually rafts under pressure. Dark grey or light grey, becoming whiter with age
Grey-white ice 15-30 More likely to ridge than to raft. Still containing some salt and relatively soft, but growing thicker and gradually becoming harder.
First Year Ice Thin 30-70 Generally white or milky-white in colour
Medium 70-120 Gradually Changes colour as it becomes older and acquires a greenish tint after about 1 year depending on temperatures
Thick ≥ 120
Old Ice Second year ice ≥ 250 Thicker than first year ice so stands higher out of the water. Most features smoother than first year ice. Regular pattern of small puddles produced by summer melting.
Multi Year Ice ≥ 300 Hummocks even smoother than second year ice. Almost salt free. Large inter-connecting regular puddles produced by summer melting.
Floating Ice Pancake Ice Circular pieces of floating ice 30 cm to 3 m in diameter with raised rims. Formed from grease ice, slush, shuga, nilas or ice rind
Ice cake Flat piece of floating ice less than 20 m across
Floe  Flat piece of floating ice 20 m or more across
Floeberg ≤ 10  Massive piece of sea ice composed of a hummock or group of hummocks frozen together, separated from ice surroundings and protruding up to 5 m above sea level
Floebit  Similar to floe berg but smaller, normally not more than 10 m across
Ice Breccia  Ice at different stages of development frozen together
Brash Ice  Accumulations of floating ice made up of fragments not more than 2 m across, it is the wreckage of other forms of ice
Ice of land origin Iceberg  > 500 Opaque white or flat white on the surface, green-blue or intense blue where bare. Virtually as hard as multi-year ice.
Bergy bits  100-500  Broken pieces from an iceberg that are 5 to 15 m in length with less than 5 m of freeboard.
Growlers  ≤ 100  Smaller broken pieces from an iceberg that are very difficult by radar to their low freeboard.
Related Post:  Ice at Sea

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