Marginal ice zone

The marginal ice zone (MIZ) is not a very well defined term and it is useful for an author to be specific about its meaning when using it. Probably the most accepted definition is that of Wadhams (1986) who describes it as "that part of the ice cover which is close enough to the open ocean boundary to be affected by its presence". This definition is open to interpretation, but is generally applied to that region of the pack which is significantly affected by ocean swell. In the Antarctic this region may extend hundreds of kilometres from the ice edge, and in some regions right to the coast. The MIZ is an area of enhanced ice drift, deformation and divergence.

This page was last modified on February 6, 2012.