Glossary & Image Library

This section contains a selection of commonly used sea ice terms, as well as a few glaciological terms pertinent to the study of sea ice. The italicised descriptions are the standard definitions published by the World Meteorological Organisation (World Meteorological Organisation. 1970. WMO sea-ice nomenclature, terminology, codes and illustrated glossary. WMO/OMM/BMO 259, TP 145. Geneva, World Meteorological Organisation).

Sea ice is any form of ice found at sea which has originated from the freezing of sea water. It can be broadly described as new ice, young ice, first-year ice and old ice. These categories broadly reflect the age of the ice and include different forms and thicknesses of ice at various stages of development.

This page was last modified on February 3, 2012.