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Glossary of Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Terms: Encyclopedia Arctica Volume 1: Geology and Allied Subjects
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962

Glossary of Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Terms

GLOSSARY
OF
SNOW, ICE, AND PERMAFROST TERMS

Ablation (Wastage).
The removal of surface waste of snow or ice due to
melting, evaporation, wind action, or other causes. As a glacier–
wasting process, ablation consists primarily of melting and
evaporation; but removal by wind or loss by calving may also be
included. Most glacier ablation is a surface process; when it
occurs on the walls of crevasses, in tunnels, or under a glacier
it is said to be internal (1; 47).
Ablation, area of (Area of dissipation) .
The area of a glacier, the down–
stream section, which loses during an ablation season not only
its cover of snow and firn but also some of the underlying ice as
well, undergoing in consequence a net loss of substance (14; 15).
Accumulation, area of .
The area of a glacier where annually more snow accumu–
lates than is removed by ablation, so that substance is added to
this part of the glacier (14; 15).
Acicular ice (Fibrous ice, Satin ice) .
Formed at the bottom of ice (near
the contact with water); consists of numerous long crystals and
hollow tubes of variable form having layered arrangement and con–
taining bubbles (31).

EA-I. Glossary

Active layer (Mollisol) .
The top layer of frozen ground which is subject to
alternate freezing and thawing, depending upon the season of the
year (9; 23; 52).
Active method of construction .
Method by which permafrost is thawed and kept
unfrozen at and near a structure (31). (See Passive method .)
Active permafrost .
Permafrost which, after having been thawed through
natural or artificial causes, is able to return to permafrost
under the present climate (31).
Adfreezing strength (Congelating stress) .
Resistance to the force that is
required to pull apart two objects which adhere to one another as
a result of the binding action of freezing. In Russian-language
reports this term is frequently used to mean tangential adfreezing
strength (31).
Advance .
See Glacier advance .
Advection fog or Advective fog .
The fog caused when warm moist air passes
over a colder surface and is cooled to a temperature which pro–
duces condensation (50).
Agdlissartoq [E].
See Frost mound .
Aggradation of permafrost (Pergelation) .
Growth of permafrost under the
present climate due to natural or artificial causes (31).
Air hoar (Pogonip) .
Crystals sublimed upon objects above the ground level
or on snow surfaces (40).
Aklavik [E].
Literally, “a place where there is a draft”; a blowhole. (An
identical word, aklavik or aktlavik, means “a place where there
are girrizzly bears,” Ursus richardsoni ) (47).
Alpine glacier .
See Valley glacier .

EA-I. Glossary

Amorphous snow .
See Crystal, irregular .
Anchor ice .
Some use this term for all submerged ice attached to the bottom
regardless of its mode of formation; others feel it should be
limited to ice anchored on the bottom of streams and rivers that
are flowing too swiftly for surface ice to form. Anchor ice is
firmly anchored to underwater objects as differentiated from frazil
ice which sometimes accumulates there but is only lightly attached
(39; 47; 51a). (See Bottom ice, Depth ice .)
Animal fog .
See Biofog .
Anniu [E].
Any kind of snow intended for melting into water for drinking or
cooking (47). (See Water snow .)
Anraum [G].
See Fog deposit.
Anticyclone .
See Glacial anticyclone.
Apun [E].
Snow that has been lying on the ground long enough so it cuts
readily with a knife or saw into blocks suitable for structures
like windbreak walls and snowhouses. From Alaskan and northwest
Canadian Eskimo word meaning “snow lying on the ground”; the
southern West Greenland form is sput (47) . (See Compacted snow, Fallen
snow, Snowcrete .)
Aputit [E].
Blocks cut from spun ; the Coronation Gulf name for a dome-shaped
snowhouse made of such blocks (the regular Eskimo snowhouse) (47).
Aquifer .
A water-bearing geologic formation (23).
Arctic pack .
See Polar pack .
Areête .
A knife-edged mountain ridge commonly crested with snow, formed by the
continuous growth of cirques on opposite sides of the crest. As a
result the mountain range develops a sharp main ridge with sharp

EA-I. Glossary

lateral spurs. In the alpine sense ar eête applies equally to a
snow or rock ridge (15; 64).
Asymmetrical crystal .
See Crystal, irregular .
Aufeis [G].
Heavy deposits of ice that are formed over the flood plains of
arctic rivers. In the Alaska-Yukon section, these deposits are
called “glaciers” by miners and even by some geologists. “Flood
ice” and “flooding ice” have also been used (26). (See Icing .)
Auftauboden [G].
Thawing or thawed surface soil (7). (See Active layer .)
Avalanche .
A large mass of snow and ice, or of earth, rock, etc., detached
from its position and moving swiftly down a mountainside. A snow
avalanche is larger than a snowslide and potentially destructive,
whereas a snowslide is not (47; 51a).
Avalanche tip .
A hard mass at the tip formed almost instantaneously when an avalanche
comes to rest. The kinetic energy of the avalanche hardens the
snow by compaction, sometimes also by pressure melting and
regelation (3; 40).
Avalanche wind .
The rush of air in front of an avalanche. “It is the swift
downrush of dry snow rather than the more deliberate advance of
the ground avalanche that produces in front of the descending mass
the most remarkable examples of the 'avalanche wind’ the force of
which, at its worst, surpasses that of any tornado. The air dis–
placed by the avalanche rushes not only straight forward but also
on either side, uprooting trees and causing general destruction
hundreds of yards beyond the area reached by the avalanche itself.”
(53a).

EA-I. Glossary

Baffin Bay Pack .
The drifting ice west of Greenland between Davis Strait and
the southern limits of North Water. Some authorities apply the term
Middle Pack to the entire area. Smith considers that the West Ice ,
which moves south along the Baffin coast, represents the backbone
of the Baffin Bay Pack, while the Middle Pack is the outer fields
subject to wider annual variations. The composition of the Baffin
Bay Pack is bergs from the Greenland coast north of Disko and ocean
ice one to several years old from the Arctic Sea or formed in Smith,
Jones, and Lancaster sounds, as well as in Baffin Bay and around
its shores (33; 44).
Balling .
Accumulation of lumps of snow under a ski, snowshoe, or other
footgear, or attached to the hairs of a dog's paw (40; 47).
Ballycadders .
Salt-water ice formed along shore between the levels of high
and low tide, thus both aground and fast to the shore. Term
developed in Hudson Bay where in many places tides are fairly high,
with the sea shoaling toward land so the tide flats are wide (12; 47).
(See Ice foot .)
Banquette coôtieère [F].
See Ice foot.
Banquise [F].
See Pack .
Banquise coôtieè re [F].
See Fast ice .
Banquise iímpe éneétrable [F].
See Close ice .
Banquise polaire [ F ].
See Polar pack .
Banshee .
See Cracking, Ice yowling .
Barber (Berber) .
A gale of wind with damp snow or sleet and spray that freezes
upon every object, especially the beard and hair. Said to be called
barber by wharfmen of New York. It is called barber (or berber)

EA-I. Glossary

because the snow is so shar p that, when driven by a gale, it nearly
cuts the skin off the face. Also said to be used in Nova Scotia
for vapor rising in cold weather from open water of rivers (53a).
(See Frost smoke .)
Barchans (Snow barchans) .
Horseshoe-shaped or crescentic patches of snow
(or sand), in contradistinction to ripples and long ridges. Bar–
chans, which open downwind, do not join up to form long transverse
structures; they are more common on extensive flat areas than in
mountains. The word is of Russian origin and is applied to the
action of wind on sand in central Asia deserts (40).
Barrage .
See Ice barrage .
Barrier or Barrieère [F].
See Ice cliff, Shelf ice .
Barrier berg .
See Tabular iceberg .
Bay ( Ice bay ).
An indentation of the ice edge caused by winds and currents (55).
Bay ice ( Glace de baies [ F ], Led bukht [R], Zalivayi led [R]).
This term
should be discarded, for its precision has been lost [: ] through
its being used for young ice, fast ice, level ice, winter ice, as
well as for any ice formed in a bay, fjord, or gulf. In the Antarctic
the term has been used at times for heavy land floes.
Belt ( Poias [R], Polosa lda [R]).
A strip of cakes, floes, or fields of ice
of such extent that its lengthwise limits cannot be seen from the
crow's-nest (47).
Bending .
The first behavior stage of ice under pressure. Considerable bend–
ing is observed only with salt-water ice and only if it is thin
(young) enough to be pliable (47). (See Hummocking, Rafting ,
Screwing, Tenting .)

EA-I. Glossary

Berber .
See Barber .
Beregovoi pripai [R].
See Landfast ice .
Berg .
See Iceberg .
Bergschrund .
A deep crevasse at the head of a mountain glacier which separates
the virtually motionless firm and underlying ice attached to the
head wall from the firn field of the glacier on the down-valley
side (14).
Bergy bit .
In current American usage, a small growler ; according to European
usage, a large piece of glacier ice rising 8 to 16 feet above the
surface of the sea (7; 45; 66). (See Calved ice .)
Bergy hole .
Area near southern end of Melville Bay that usually contains
large numbers of icebergs (47).
Beset (Bloqueé [F], Claveé [F]).
Beset is used of a vessel so closely surrounded
by sea ice that control of her movements is lost (47). (See Nipping .)
Bight .
An indentation in shelf ice, fast ice, or a floe (57). (See Bay .)
Big Lead, The .
Name given by Peary to a belt of loose ice and open water
which he believed to be fairly constant and to be found north of
Ellesmere Island and Greenland between 84° and 85° N.; he observed
it between 60° and 40° W. at never over three miles in width but
believed it would be wider farther east, because of the greater
difference in eastward speed of the ice north of the “lead” as
compared with the ice south of it (47; 70).
Biofog ( Human and animal fog ).
Fog created at low temperatures by the moist
warmth of people or animals, and by human activities such as cooking.

EA-I. Glossary

Extreme possible density under natural outdoor conditions is
probably that reported from the Pole of Cold in Siberia where a
reindeer tethered at −90°F. was invisible from leeward at 10 feet.
Villages, where cooking and similar activities are added to the
steaming of people and beasts, may have only one margin visible
to flyers unless they are looking almost vertically down through
the biofog (47). (See Contrail .)
Birktok [E].
See Blizzard .
Bit .
A single piece of ice less than 2 feet in diameter (47). (See Brash ,
Glacçon.)
Bityi led [R].
See Broken ice .
Black and white iceberg .
Iceberg having a dark portion containing sand and
stones, and separated from the white portion by a definite clear–
cut plane; dark portion water-worn into smoothly rounded surface (57).
Black frost .
See Frost, black .
Black ice .
Thin dark-appearing salt-water ice without snow covering (see ice
rind ); an early stage in the xx development of young ice when the
top of it is so wet with brine that, even in very cold weather,
the salt melts any light snow as it falls. In a heavy snowfall,
or with drifting snow, this ice will get covered up and then presents
the greatest of hazards to men afoot or to airplanes seeking a safe
landing. This term is also used to describe new ice on fresh water
(39; 47; 66).
Blinchatyi led [R].
See Pancake ice .
Blink ( Otblesk [R]).
The reflection in a clouded sky from anything below

EA-I. Glossary

that is light in color, like snow or ice, or a source of light,
such as a camp fire, prairie fire, lighted city; the lighter por–
tions of the sky map (47). (See Color sky, Glare .)
Blizzard ( Birktok [E], Chasse-neige [F], Purga [R]).
A strong wind (usually
not very cold and with or without falling snow) before which the
snow drifts so high and thick that it is difficult or impossible
to tell whether the sky is clear or clouded. A true blizzard
differs from equally strong or even stronger snow - carrying local
gales (gales produced or focused by topography) in being of
larger extent and no doubt generally of cyclonic nature. Some
authorities, among them Petterssen, feel the term blizzard should
not be used except when one thinks there is or may be some snow
falling (47). (See Buran, Burga, Drift, Snowstorm .)
Block .
A small piece of ice (47). (See Cake .)
Blocky iceberg .
An iceberg having a nearly horizontal surface and steep
sides (47).
Bloqueé [F].
See Beset .
Blowhole ( Aklavik [E]).
A topographic configuration that funnels wind to
create a local wind strong enough to carry snow into the air;
an open water spot in desne pack where whales, especially beluga,
gather because they cannot come up to blow elsewhere in the neigh–
borhood (47; 62). (See Breathing hole .)
Bodeneis [G].
See Ground ice .
Boorga .
See Burga .
Boring ( Forage [F], Slewing ).
Forcing a vessel steadily through ice under
power of engine or sail so as to progress by pushing adjacent floes
apart (47). (See Ramming .)

EA-I. Glossary

Botner [S].
See Cirque .
Bottom ice ( Deposited ice ).
Depth ice that has reached and clung to the
bottom (47). (See Anchor ice .)
Bourguignons [F].
See Brash .
Brae [D].
See Glacier .
Brash or Brash ice ( Bourguignons [F], Debris ice, Glace briseée [F], Melkobityi
led [R], Mush, Razdroblennyi led [R], Sarrazins [F]).
Mixture
of sludge with small fragments that are wreckage of other ice forms;
also used, even when sludge is absent, for a hodgepodge of small
ice fragments, say up to 6 feet in diameter, if they have a water–
logged appearance. Sometimes called slob ice (47; 66).
Brash cakes ( Sludge cakes ).
Ice cakes formed by the refreezing of brash, or
brash and sludge (47).
Brash floes ( Sludge floes ).
Floes formed by the freezing together of brash
cakes or just by the freezing of brash (47).
Bre [N].
See Glacier.
Break-up ( Ledokhod [R]).
The time at which, and conditions under which,
laymen consider that winter has definitely turned the corner into
summer. The ice on rivers breaks and starts moving with the cur–
rent; lakes are no longer crossable afoot; the frozen mud has become
soft; and most of the snow is gone (47). (See the opposite term
Freeze-up .)
Breathing hole .
A hole in sea ice for breathing purposes kept open through
gnawing by a seal that lives beneath it in the water. The hole,
anything from dime to half-dollar size, is usually covered more

EA-I. Glossary

or less deeply by snow (except in warm weather) and the seal
breathes air that filters through the snow (47).
Brine flowers .
The encrustation of salt upon the upper surface of young
ice (so named in analogy to frost roses). Brine flowers are
conspicuous only when the cold is intense and the ice a few
inches thick; a fall of snow upon a brine-flower crust causes it
to turn liquid, producing a slush layer between the snow and
the ice (47.)
Brine slush .
Slush that cannot quite turn to ice because of high salt
content; most commonly found between young ice and its fluffy
cover of recent snow. At low temperatures a salt crust begins
forming on top of young ice when it is 2 or more inches thick
(before which the top side of the forming ice has been covered
with liquid brine). This salt crust becomes drier to the feel
both with thickening of the young ice and with a drop in tempera–
ture; but upon the blanketing of the ice with a considerable
fall of new snow, the salt crust melts and forms a layer of
brine between the young ice and the snow. At around −50°F. air
temperature, with 6 or 8 inches of new-fallen snow, there may be
half an inch or more of liquid or creamy slush separating the dry
snow above from 6 and even 10 inches of forming ice (47). (See
Ice flowers, Salt crust .)
Broken belt .
The outer fringe of polar ice, consisting of scattered floes
and cakes; it may be many miles broad (47).

EA-I. Glossary

Broken ice ( Bityl led [R]).
Ice consisting of scattered cakes and floes
(47). (See Brash .)
Bucking .
See Ramming .
Bulguniakh [R].
Usually used synonymously with hydrolaccolith, but sometimes
just any medium-sized mound (31).
Buran [R].
A violent northeast snow-carrying storm of the central or south–
central plains of the Soviet Union; the equivalent of the purga
of the northern Soviet plains and the blizzard of the North Amer–
ican prairies (53a).
Burga ( Boorga ).
This is a Russian loan word in the Eskimo-White jargon of
western Alaska — a mispronunciation of the Russian purga and
signifying a blizzard (53a).

EA-I. Glossary

Cake .
A relatively flat piece of ice, smaller than a floe (47). (See
Bergy bit, Bit, Glacçon, Growler.)
Calf .
A piece of ice broken off from the front of a glacier or barrier;
sometimes used of a piece breaking off from large berg (47).
Calf ice or Calved ice .
A low-lying piece of glacier ice, less than 16
feet above the surface of the sea (47). (See Bergy bit, Growler .)
Calving ( Shchenki [R], Velaâge [F]).
The breaking away of a mass of ice
from a parent berg, glacier, or barrier (47).
Candle ice (Needle ice, Penknife ice).
Long crystals formed in freshwater
ice, or in salt ice that has become fresh. These are vertical (at
right angles to the surface of the water). Their tips are sharp
and will cut shoe leather and the pads of dogs’ feet. Markham
implies that this formation was first described in England in 1827
by Parry who called it “penknife ice.” Apparently candling does
not take place as long as snow shields the ice from the direct sun.
When the candling extends all the way through the ice, to the water
below, it is easy to drive a slender though blunt rod all the way
through. Chunks of river ice thrown up on a bank during break-up
will candle rapidly in direct sunlight and will then collapse at a
light blow, as from a cane, into a heap of candles (27; 47).
Canopying .
Interlocking of plumes and flakes of snow (40).
Capillary fringe .
The zone immediately above the water table in which water
is held above the groundwater level by capillarity (31).
Capillary interstices .
Openings small enough to produce appreciable capillary
rise (31).

EA-I. Glossary

Capillary water .
Water that is retained in the capillary interstices of the
[: ] ground and is capable of movement through capillary action. It
may remain unfrozen at the lowest permafrost temperatures. Also
water retained by capillary action in wet snow and wet ice (3; 31).
Cat ice ( Shell ice ).
Thin ice from under which the water has receded (63).
Cave-in lake ( Kettle lake, Kettle-hole lake ).
A lake formed in a caved-in
depression produced by the thawing of ground ice (31).
Ceinture des glace [F].
See Ice foot .
Champ de glace [F].
See Ice field .
Channel .
See Lead .
Chasse-neige [F].
See Blizzard .
Chattermarks .
Scars made in series by vibratory glacial chipping. They were
named in analogy with a machinist’s chattermark, which results when
a tool, not firmly held, plows across a piece of metal. They are
not friction cracks, for they possess no fracture (15).
Chinese walls .
See Ice cliff .
Chistaia voda [R].
See Open water .
Ciel d’eau [F].
See Water sky .
Cirque ( Botner [S], Cwm [W], Kar [G]).
A rock amphitheater with steeply rising
walls formed by headward glacial erosion. It may or may not contain
a glacier (14; 30; 57). (See Cirque glacier .)
Cirque glacier .
A glacier that occupies a cirque (14).
Clart e é des glaces [F].
See Iceblink .
Clav e é [F].
See Beset .
Clearing ( Progalina [R]).
A roundish opening in the ice with a maximum width
of a few hundred yards. A larger opening may be called a big
clearing (47). (See Hole, Polynia .)

EA-I. Glossary

Climatic snow line .
The level above which snow accumulates indefinitely on
flat surfaces fully exposed to sun and wind. As such surfaces are
absent in most mountain regions, the climatic snow line is little
more than a theoretical concept, while the regional snow line is
an observable thing (28).
Closed system .
A condition of freezing of the ground under confined condi–
tions where no additional supply of groundwater is available (31; 62).
Close ice or Close pack ( Banquise imp e é n e é trable [F], Gustoi led [R], Splochennyi
led [R].
Ice so closely packed that it covers 70 to 90% of the
sea surface; navigation is difficult or impossible (47).
Cloud map .
See Sky map .
Coastal hummock or Coastal pressure ridge ( Pribrezhnyi toros [R]).
Hummock
or ridge formed when floating ice is thrust against the edge of land
ice, the slabs of ice piling up onto each other in varied positions
(6; 47).
Coastal ice ( Glace c o ô ti e è re [F]).
All ice formations existing between land
and sea on the coast, regardless of origin (57). (See Fast ice ,
Glacier tongue, Ice foot, Ledianoi zabereg, Shelf ice .)
Coast ice .
See Fast ice .
Col .
A col is formed where two cirques enlarging toward each other cut
through the ridge that separates them, producing a sharp-edged gap
with a smoothly curved vertical profile. Many alpine passes have
this origin (15).
Cold content .
The amount of heat, in calories, which is necessary to raise
the temperature of a snow column of 1-sq.cm. section to 0°C. without

EA-I. Glossary

melting the snow. This amount depends on the thickness and
density of the snow column, and the temperatures within the
column (3; 32).
Cold poles .
See Poles of cold .
Collar ice .
See Ice foot .
Color sky or Colored sky .
Reflection in clouds of colored portions of the
landscape beneath them, as pink or orange from pink snow, yellow
or straw color from grass showing through the snow on a winter prairie
(47). (See Sky map .)
Column .
A snow crystal in the form of a short, hexagonal prism with either
plane, pyramidal, or truncated ends. (Length/diameter less than
5.) (48)
Columnar frost .
Extrusions of ice column s that grow from swampy ground,
formed by the freezing of water emerging from claylike soil.
Growth is at the interface between ice and land (39).
Combined water .
Water of solid solution and water of hydration that does not
freeze (3; 31).
Compacted snow .
Naturally compacted snow is produced by action of blizzards
or other strong winds; artificially compacted snow results from
pressure or pounding applied to new or pulverized snow, as by
rubbing soft snow gently into the crevices of a snowhouse, pressing
soft snow down by tread of men or animals, or intentionally stamping
it down with feet or instruments, or by action of skis and sledge
runners. Compacting also results from reworking snow, harrow fashion,
once or oftener. Compacted snow hardens gradually afterward, the

EA-I. Glossary

time element in the process reminding of the hardening of cement
into concrete, hence snow concrete or snowcrete (33; 47; 51a).
Compact ice ( Glace compacte [F], Sploshnoi led [R]).
Continuous, although
broken, drift ice with few indications of open water to be seen
from a vantage point, such as the masthead (47).
Concrete .
See Icecrete, Snowcrete .
Concussion crack .
See Shock crack .
Condensation .
Process by which vapor becomes a liquid or a solid, for
instance, the change of liquid water into dew or rime (53a).
Condensation nucleus .
A particle upon which condensation of water vapor
begins in the free atmosphere (53a).
Condensation trail .
See Contrail .
Confetti ice .
See Spicule fog .
Confluent ice .
Ice sheets formed by the coalescence of ice tongues from
several glaciers (47). (See Piedmont glacier .)
Congelating stress .
See Adfreezing strength .
Congelifraction .
F or ro st splitting or f or ro st riving (9).
Congeliturbation .
Frost action including frost heaving and differential and
mass movements; includes solifluction, sludging, etc. (9).
Cong e è re [F].
See Snowdrift .
Conglomerated pack .
High hummocky floes interspersed with icebergs; not
navigable unless by powerful icebreakers (47).
Conglomeratic ice ( Ice conglomerate ).
When one floe grinds along another,
the irregular edges of the floes are so ground that the motion
takes place along a nearly straight line. The blocks of ice are

EA-I. Glossary

gradually crushed into small fragments, so that a mixture of
boulders of ice in a groundmass of slush is formed along the line
separating the moving and stationary ice. When the floes sepa–
rate, the ice conglomerate is often left with a vertical wall to
mark the former plane of motion. This kind of ice, especially
when found as a component of the East Ice, is sometimes in error
referred to as paleocrystic ice (26; 43; 44; 45; 47).
Consolidated pack .
The heaviest form of pack, containing much pressure ice,
and appearing entirely devoid of water spaces when seen from a
vantage, such as a shore observation spot or a crow’s-nest (47).
Constant soil congelation .
See Permafrost .
Continental glacier .
Glacier covering very large areas, such as Greenland
and the Antarctic (1; 15). (See Ice sheet, Inland ice .)
Contrail .
A trail of fog or mist left behind in cold weather by a moving
person, running beast, flying bird, or machine, such as motorcar
or airplane. In all but the machines, this mist is produced by
the moisture from breathing, insensible perspiration, and sweating;
with machines some of the fog no doubt is from the combustion
processes, but it is considered that when air is supersaturated
with respect to ice, crystals of it are generated in vortices
produced by propeller tips and the leading edges of airplane wings.
(However, if that be so, bullets should produce contrails, which
does not appear to have been reported.) (39; 47) (See Biofog .)
Cooking snow .
See Water snow .
Cornice .
Snow or ice overhanging the lee slope of rocks or ice cliffs; the

EA-I. Glossary

formation is produced primarily by wind but plastic deformation
may also be a factor (14; 40; 64; 65).
Cornice face .
The underside of the overhanging portion of a cornice (64).
Cornice roof .
The snow surface between the cornice root and the cornice
face. In rounded cornices the roof is continued round as far
as the farthest overhanging point of the cornice at which point
the face commences (40).
Cornice root .
The union between the snow deposit forming a cornice and the
snow of the ridge or mountainside on which it stands (40).
Cornice scarp .
The steep snow slope (usually of about 52-1/2*) under the
face of a snow cornice (40).
Corn snow .
Granular form of snow which develops by cycles of successive
freezing and thawing (39). (See Spring snow, Water snow .)
Corrie .
A very small cirque which is isolated on the side of a canyon or
hill and is not directly t ir ri butary to a valley (42).
Crack ( Treshchina [R]).
A narrow fissure in ice, hard snowbank, or frozen
earth; in floating sea ice it usually results from the action of
winds or currents, on lakes or land usually from a drop in tempera–
ture. Ordinarily sledge travelers at sea speak of a crack if a man
can jump over it but of a lead if he cannot jump across. Sailors
sometimes use crack to denote a lead too narrow for a ship’s passage.
Among others, there are shock, shear, pressure, temperature, and
tidal cracks (47; 57). (See Promoina .)
Cracking .
Occurs in frozen land or in ice that is shrinking because of a drop
in temperature. The resulting noise is no doubt really loud at

EA-I. Glossary

times in sea ice, but is there frequently obscured by other noises;
so the cracking is usually reported only from lakes, rivers, or land.
From land and rivers the noise is usually described as comparable to
a pistol shot, for the crack is relatively short and the noises from
all parts of each come to the listening ear nearly simultaneously.
But when the ice of a wide lake is involved, the split may be sev–
eral or many miles in length, the sounds from different distances
arriving at different times, producing what has been called ice
banshee or ice yowling (47).
Creaking .
The noise made by sledges, especially if metal-shod and heavily
loaded, as they are dragged over snow. Other things being equal,
the creaking is louder the colder the day; the experienced sledger
can guess tempera t ure roughly by the loudness and other traits of
the creaking (47).
Cream ice ( Ice-cream ice ).
Young ice, usually less than 3 inches thick, which
contains so many honeycomb-like cells filled with unfrozen brine
that a piece of it splashes or flattens like ice cream if dropped
on a hard surface (47).
Creeping snow .
Snow “creeps,” slides slowly downhill, when it lies on a steep
slope and has become partly befirned. The tensile stresses caused
by creeping are among the main causes of avalanches (3; 40).
Crevasse .
A fissure or [: ] rift in glaciers, shelf ice, or other land-ice forma–
tions (47).
Crevasse hoar .
Sublimed crystals found in crevasses or in other hollows or
crevices below the snow surface (40).
Crimson snow .
See Pink snow .

EA-I. Glossary

Cristaux de glace [F].
See Ice crystals .
Critical moisture content .
Maximum amount of interstitial water which, when
converted into ice, will fill all the available pore space of the
ground (31).
Crusts, breakable and unbreakable .
To a skier, a crust is a layer of hard
snow developed above a softer layer. Breakable crust is any kind
of crust which breaks under weight of a laden ski. Although
this will vary according to several factors, among them the weight
of the skier and his skill, nevertheless it gives an idea of the
condition of the snow. Unbreakable crusts are those which support
a skier. Crusts are occasionally referred to as bearing or non–
bearing in reference to the man on foot (40). (See Glitter .)
Cryoconite holes .
See Dust holes .
Cryology .
That subdivision of hydrology which relates to snow and ice (49).
Cryopedology .
The science of intensive frost action and permanently frozen
ground, including studies of the processes and their occurrence
and also the engineering devices which may be invented to avoid
or overcome difficulties induced by them [: ] .
Cryoplanation .
Land reduction by the processes of intensive frost action,
i.e., congeliturbation including solifluction and accompanying
processes of translation of congelifracts. Includes the work of
rivers and streams in transporting materials delivered by the
above processes (9).
Crystal, irregular .
A snow crystal which has grown in random directions. It
may have the appearance of a combination of microscopic crystals
or its structure may be concealed by a coating of rime which gives

EA-I. Glossary

it an opaque appearance. Nakaya has used the term “amorphous snow,”
and Schaefer, the term “asymmetrical c yr ry stal” to describe this form
of snow (48).
Crystal fog .
See Spicule fog .
Crystocrene .
Surface masses of ice formed each winter by the overflow of
springs. In Alaska and the Yukon such ice is often called a
glacier (31; 47). (See Aufeis, Icing .)
Crystosphene .
Mass or sheet of ice developed by a wedging growth between
beds of other material; a form of ground ice (31).
Cul-de-sac .
An area of disturbed floating sea ice from which there is no
egress for a vessel (57).
Cwm [W].
See Cirque .
Cygne [F].
Icebergs that have been worn thin and whose long necks resemble
the cygne (cygn a e t) or swan (61).

EA-I. Glossary

Dauerfrostboden [G].
See Permafrost .
Dead glacier .
See Stagnant glacier .
Debacle .
The spring break-up of ice in rivers (47). (See Ice Jam .)
Debris ice .
See Brash .
Deep-seated swelling .
Swelling of ground caused by the freezing of freely
percolating groundwater (31).
Degradation of permafrost .
Disappearance of the permafrost due to natural
or artificial causes (31).
Dendrite, spatial .
A feathery type of snow crystal having branches which
are not in one plane. It may have a stellar base on which secondary
branches which are not in the base plane have formed, or it may
have branches radiating from its center (48).
Depergelation .
The act or process of thawing permanently frozen ground (9).
Deposited ice .
See Bottom ice .
Depth hoar .
Sublimed crystals, usually of cupped shape, found among the
snow or forming layers inside or at the base of the snow cover.
Depth hoar is a snow type (3; 40).
Depth ice .
Small particles of ice formed below the surface of the sea when
it is both sufficiently chilled and sufficiently churned up by wave
action. Some of the particles may go far enough down to touch
bottom, where they adhere and become bottom ice. In other cases,
the particles freeze together as they touch each other, become thus
enlarged, and finally rise to the surface (68). (See Anchor ice .)
Depth of seasonal change .
See Level of zero annual amplitude .
Diamond dust .
A minute, simple, crystalline form of sublimed water vapor
that falls out of a clear sky (40).

EA-I. Glossary

Dirty ice .
Drifting sea ice which was formed at or near a shore and which
has broken up to carry abroad with it enough wind-deposited or
landslide-deposited sand or earth so that from a distance the
floes look dark. Sometimes these floes, particularly if hummocky,
are mistaken from a distance for partly snow-covered land (47).
(See Landslide debris .)
Dissipation, area of .
See Ablation, area of .
Distributary glacier .
An ice stream which diverges laterally from a main
trunk glacier and forms a separate terminus (14).
Disturbed ice .
Any land ice which is broken by pressure into a chaotic pat–
tern of elevations and depressions (47).
Drain hole .
Hole through which the (usually fresh) thaw water on top of sea
ice flows down to join the sea beneath. These holes speed up the
thawing and the break-up of the ice, for they enlarge rapidly. The
drainage a pertures may have been seal breathing holes originally,
or they may have caused by dark objects (such as fox or bear
excrement, dead fish, pieces of seaweed) that turn sunlight into
heat when the rays strike them, making pits, some of which finally
perforate the ice and become drainage vents (46). (See Breathing
hole, Dust hole .)
Drift .
Wind-driven snow, both falling and fallen, in motion along the surface,
sometimes rising to heights of 100 feet or more; snow lodged in the
vicinity of surface irregularities under the influence of the wind.

EA-I. Glossary

Also the motion of sea ice or vessels resulting from ocean currents
(3; 47). (See Blizzard, Snowstorm .)
Drift ice ( Glaces de d e é rive [F], Plavun [R], Redkii led [R]).
The Inter–
national Ice Patrol uses this term to describe all sea ice that
is not fast, regardless of the per cent of cover. Many writers
use it to mean a very open pack where water predominates over ice.
The floes are usually smaller than in close or open pack, with
much rotten ice and brash; vessels usually can pass through it
without altering course or speed. Known also as sailing ice .
Zubov defines drift ice as all sea ice that intervenes, in space,
between the landfast or shore ice and the pack; he estimates this
to cover 10 to 15% of total Arctic Sea area in late winter, as com–
pared with 15 or 20% for shore ice and about 70% for pack ice.
Drift ice is in constant movement, being partly destroyed during
summer, partly surviving and freezing into next winter’s ice. It
is thought of as not being a permanent component of the pack.
Drift ice is usually penetrable by ships in summer; pack ice (Soviet
style) is not (45; 47; 66; 68; 69).
Drivis [N].
See Pack .
Dry permafrost .
Permanently frozen ground with temperature below 0°C. but
containing no ice (31).
Duff .
The vegetable matter which covers the ground in the forest, as leaves,
twigs, dead logs, etc., and is influential in preserving permafrost
(31). (See Muck .)
Dust holes ( Cryoconite holes ).
Small slender pits or perforations near the

EA-I. Glossary

edges of glaciers or in sea ice that is or has been near land.
These are produced when heat is generated by sunlight striking
dark particles that rest on the whiter ice, whereupon the heated
particles, up to pebble size, sink down into the ice. The reverse
effect may be produced if large pebbles are involved, for they act
as insulators (47; 53a). (See Mushroom pillars .)
Dyra [R].
See Hole .

EA-I. Glossary

Earth mound .
See Frost mound .
East Ice .
This ice comes drifting south from the Arctic Sea through the gap
between Greenland and Spitsbergen, moves along the East Greenland
coast, around Cape Farewell, and up the southern west coast. It
is composed of paleocrystic and other floes which get broken into
smaller sizes as they crowd through the Greenland-Spitsbergen gap,
south of which they are joined by icebergs from Greenland glaciers,
as well as by locally formed sea ice. It is important to note,
however, that to Norwegians, East Ice is the ice in Barents Sea,
and West Ice, the ice off eastern Greenland (47; 51).
Eau de neige [F].
See Snow-water pool .
Eaux libres [F].
See Open water .
Eisbank [G].
See Fast ice .
Eisberg [G].
See Iceberg .
Eiseblink [G].
See Iceblink .
Eisboden [G].
See Frozen ground .
Eisbrei [G].
See Ice fat .
Eisfeld [G].
See Ice field .
Eis im Boden [G].
See Ground ice .
Eiskristallen [G].
See Ice crystals .
Eisrinde [G].
See Ice rind .
Embacle .
A heaping up of ice following a renewed freezing (6).
Ever-frozen soil .
See Permafrost .
Expanded foot glacier .
Glacier with an expanded terminal section outside the
confining walls of a valley (14). (See Foot glacier .)

EA-I. Glossary

Fallen snow .
Snow after it has reached the ground; all snow between the
stages of the snowflake on one side and firn and glacier ice on
the other (40). (See Apun .)
Fann [D].
See Fonn, Snowdrift .
Fast ice ( Banquise c o ô tiere [F], Coast ice, Eisbank [G], Festeis [G], Glace
ferm e é e [F], Glace fixe [F], Küsteneis [G], Landfast ice, Land
floe, Pripai [R], Shore ice, Zabereg [R]).
Stretches of unbroken
sea ice attached on one or more sides to land or to stranded
hummocks or bergs. It usually breaks up before the end of summer.
When thick ice of this nature drifts away it forms land floes
(66; 67). (See Ledianoi zabereg, Running ice .)
Festeis [G].
See Fast ice .
Fibrous ice .
See Acicular ice .
Field .
See Ice field .
Field ice .
Formerly synonymous with consolidated pack. Now used by Inter–
national Ice Patrol and many others for sea ice sighted on Grand
Banks and in other southerly regions; when extent is considered
limited the reference is to patches of field ice (43; 66).
Film crust .
A layer of very thin, clear ice found on the top of wet snow,
but separated from it by an air space and supported by the high
points of the irregular snow surface. It is formed by sublimation
of vapor rising from the wet snow by diffusion. It forms only in
calm, clear weather, with high temperature contrasts between night
and day. Sometimes the film protects the snow below from thawing
(3; 40).

EA-I. Glossary

Fine aggregate ice .
Ice formed by freezing of stirred water (31).
Fire hole .
A hole kept open through the sea, lake, or river ice so that
water may be available in case of fire (4).
Firn ( Firn snow, N e é v e é ).
Snow, compacted by thermal variations, in transition
from soft snow to glacier ice; it is said to be befirned when its
density reaches about 0.4. Also the accumulation area of a glacier.
Formerly the terms n e é v e é and firn were interchangeable but Seligman
suggests using firn to indicate snow particles in the befirned con–
dition and n e é v e é to indicate the moving mass of firn snow situated
in the area of accumulation of a glacier. However, Sharp suggests
firn field as better than the latter usage. Firn derives from
Middle High German virne meaning old, last year’s (10; 40; 42; 64).
Firn cement .
Ice originating from a film of thaw water surrounding grains
of new firn snow which cements them firmly together (40).
Firn field ( N e é v e é field, N e é v e é slope ).
Ahlmann describes this as an immovable
mass of firn formed by the recrystallization of solid precipita–
tion, which consequently does not include the firn areas of the
glaciers. [: ] Sharp and others, however, define it as a perennial
snow field or slope of firn snow (according to its gradient), above
the firn or n e é v e é (3; 40).
Firnification .
The process of metamorphism of new snow to firn (3; 40).
Firn line or limit ( N e é v e é line ).
The highest level to which the fresh snow
cover on a glacier’s surface retreats during the melting season.
Glen suggests that there are two firn lines: climatological and
temporary. The first represents that altitude at which previous

EA-I. Glossary

climatological conditions have balanced accumulation against
ablation and at which the firn cover of the accumulation area
is found to begin. The second represents that altitude at which
any one year’s accumulation and ablation may balance (16; 28).
Firn snow .
See Firn .
Firn snow, advanced .
Snow (the alpine Firnschnee ) of a more solid structure
than new firn snow and therefore of greater de sn ns ity. Advanced
firn snow is generally found in the areas of accumulation of
glaciers (40).
Firn snow, dry granular .
Firn snow so situated below the surface that it
is impossible for it to be subjected to melting, the crystals
lying loose and friable, rather resembling rice grains. It is
called Kornschnee in the Alps (40).
Firn snow, new .
This is the verfirnter Schnee of alpine nomenclature. It
lies with its grains fairly loose; but as it grows old the grains
become more and more firmly held together by a “cement” of ice
originating from a film of thaw water surrounding them (40).
Fissure polygons ( Mud polygon ).
Polygonal areas of ground separated from
each other by grooves or fissures. Includes “tundra” polygons
and mudflat polygons (30).
Fjord ice ( Glace de fjords [F]).
Level ice originating in fjords (66).
Flacheis [G].
See Level ice .
Flaques d’eau c o ô ti e è res [F].
See Offshore water .
Flaw .
Term used by Yankee shore whalers in two senses: (1) the outer edge
of the landfast ice; (2) the shore lead, just outside the fast ice ,

EA-I. Glossary

along which whales migrate (especially on the northwest coast
of Alaska, between Point Hope and Point Barrow) (47).
Floe ( Obloaki polei [R]).
Mobile sea ice, the limits of which are within
sight; larger than pancake but smaller than field. One size
classification (Maurstad’s) is: small floe if less than 0.1
mile in diameter; floe or medium floe if from 0.1 to 0.5 mile;
big floe if from 0.5 mite almost to field size. For thickness,
floes are usually called: light if less than 2 feet; medium
from 2 to 6 feet; heavy above that thickness. Floes from 7 to
12 feet thick, if formed by direct freezing, are from one to
several years old; but great thickness may be acquired by younger
floes through hummocking, rafting, or the conversion of snow
into ice by way of an intermediary slush stage (47; 57; 66).
Floe belt .
The area inside the broken belt (47).
Floeberg ( Nesiak [R]).
A massive piece of sea ice or hummock (a berg in
appearance but a floe in origin) (66).
Floe ice .
Extensive area of sea covered with floes of various sizes;
differs from a field in that, from the masthead, open water
patches can be seen here and there (47).
Flood or Flooding .
A sheet of water on top of river ice; the expression
covers both the process and the end product. The cause of flood–
ing is usually that the stream freezes to the bottom at a shallow
place or jams with frazil ice ; the pressure of the water thus
dammed back finally causes a break in the ice somewhere upstream
and the river flows on top of its own ice. The flood may extend

EA-I. Glossary

miles underneath deep snow without enough water soaking up into it
to snow. Under the snow blanket the water may remain unfrozen for
several days, even in the coldest weather; if the water soaks all
the way up through the snow, freezing proceeds rapidly (47).
Flood ice .
See Aufeis .
Flottage [F].
See Rafting .
Flower ice .
See Ice flowers .
Fluff .
See New snow .
Foam crust .
A snow crust which appears as small, overlapping waves, [: ] like sea
foam. First described by Lunn, it is formed by sun evaporation
similar to that which occurs in the formation of perforated crust .
Plowshares are an intensified from of foam crust (40).
Foam volcano .
A structure consisting of frozen foam produced when foam is
extruded from holes in an ice-locked stream, due to water-created
air pressure. The volcano generally consists of a hollow cone or
cylinder which, under special conditions, has been known to reach
a height of 13 feet and a diameter of 15 inches. They are usually
conical until about 15 inches high, after which they become cylin–
drical. Foam volcanoes generally occur on streams having water–
falls, and only when the water contains surface-active materials (39).
Fog, advection, bio -, ground, ice, spicule, supercooled .
See Advection fog ,
Biofog, etc.
Fog deposit .
A mixture of fallen snowflakes and frozen fog droplets; has been
called rime and Anraum (40).

EA-I. Glossary

Fonn [D and N].
Eternal snow (seemingly from Old Norse Fönn which means deep
snow, large snowdrift). In some Norwegian proper names it is used
to denote glacier, as Folgefonnen, etc. (47; 51).
Foot glacier .
The term “foot” is applied to any single glacier whose terminal
portion expands in lobate form over level or gently sloping terrain
(64).
Forage [F].
See Boring .
Fossil ice .
See Ground ice .
Frazil or Frazil ice .
Fine, disk-shaped, free-floating ice particles which
are formed in waters too turbulent to permit the formation of an
ice sheet, and may gather on the surface or on underwater structures.
It is the ice formation that causes trouble at the intake of hydro–
electric plants and also at times produces underwater dams in
rivers, which may lead to river flooding. This is a French-Canadian
term derived from the French frazil meaning cinders. Frazil crystals
apparently were taken to resemble the cinders from a forge (6; 39;
47; 51a).
Free water .
In snow, the term means liquid water. In permafrostology, it is
interstitial gravity water which is usually considered to freeze at
normal temperature, 0°C.; according to Bouyoucos it freezes first
at the supercooling of −1.5°C. (3; 31).
Freeze .
The condition and the result when the whole air mass over a wide
area remains below the thaw point long enough to be the character–
istic feature of the weather. A freeze is longer and more severe
than a black frost but not long or severe enough to be the freeze-up
(53a).

EA-I. Glossary

Freeze-up ( Ledostav [R]).
The time at which, and conditions under which,
laymen consider that winter has set in. The farmer can no longer
plow his field, the canoeist is unable to paddle along the river,
most of even the hardier vegetables are frost-blighted. To the
arctic traveler, it is the time when the hardened mud no longer
sticks to his boots, when he can cross river and lake by ice, and
when the use of the sledge begins (47). (See the opposite term
Break-up .)
Freezing point .
See Melting point .
Freezing rain .
A rain that partly freezes on striking objects and forms
on them a smooth coating of ice (53a). (See Ice storm .)
Fresh ice .
Has been employed to describe newly formed ice of different types
(see young ice ). This term should not be used because it conflicts
with other definitions of fresh ice, among them (1) ice that has
always been fresh (salt-free), and (2) ice that was salty but is
now fresh (47).
Friction crack .
A glacially made crescentic marking having a distinct fracture.
It is so named because all such cracks are believed to be made by
local increase in friction between ice and rock (18).
Frost .
A light, feathery deposit of ice through condensation of water vapor,
directly in the crystalline form, on objects whose temperature is
below freezing, corresponding to dew (53a). (See Hoarfrost .)
Frost, black .
Black frost or hard frost refers to a conditions prevailing in
late autumn when both air and terrestrial objects have tempe r atures
below freezing. Vegetation is blackened, but hoarfrost does not form.

EA-I. Glossary

This term is seldom used in higher latitudes after winter has
set in (53a).
Frost belt ( Frost dam ).
A narrow stratum of frozen ground which forms as
obstruction to percolating shallow groundwater. It is induced
by the removal of a strip of natural insulation, or by the con–
struction of ditch, which causes early and rapid freezing of
surficial ground. Also a locality, generally lowland valley,
particularly subject to early frosts (23; 31; 39).
Frost blister ( Gravel mound, Grave mound, Soil blister ).
A mound or an
upwarp of surficial ground caused chiefly by the hydrostatic
pressure of groundwater (31).
Frost boil .
Accumulation of excess water usually at a place of accelerated
spring thawing of ground ice. It commonly weakens the surface
and may break through, causing a quagmire (31).
Frost crack .
Cracking of the ground because of frost. This expression may
refer either to the gunshot-like noise heard when the earth cracks
because of frost contraction or to the resulting crack or crevice
in the ground. Also a term used by dendrologists to describe the
cracks formed in tree trunks by frost action (39; 47).
Frost cracking .
See Cracking, Ice yowling .
Frost crystals .
Ice crystals which form over a normal firn or new snow with
flat surfaces that give a special sparkle when the sun strikes them.
Leffingwell uses the expression for deposits of ice crystals on the
walls of cavities in frozen ground (26; 47).
Frost dam .
See Frost belt .

EA-I. Glossary

Frost flakes .
See Spicule fog .
Frost flowers .
See Frost roses .
Frost fog .
See Frost smoke .
Frostgraupeln [G].
See Soft hail .
Frost heaving ( Heaving ).
An upward warping (upwarp) of the ground due to a
frost-produced swelling of materials farther down (31).
Frost line .
The maximum depth to which winter freezing penetrates where
permafrost is not involved; it may be given for a particular
winter, for the average of several winters, or for the greatest
depth ever reached (53a).
Frost mound ( Agdlissartoq [E], Earth mound, Ground-ice mound, Ice mound, Pals
[Fi], Peat mound, Pingorssarajuk [E], Suffosion complex, Suffosion
convex, Suffosion knob ).
An upwarp of ground produced by various
forces acting individually or in combination. These causative
forces are usually due to freezing, groundwater pressure, and
crystallization (49). The Eskimo words, as given above, are open
to question as to grammatical form, spelling, and meaning, but are
used here because they got into the literature. (See Frost blister ,
Hydrolaccolith, Pingok .)
Frost ribbon .
See Ice fringe .
Frost roses ( Frost flowers ).
The flower- or fernlike tracery of ice crystals
formed in cold weather on the inside of a window in a warmed room,
or under similar conditions elsewhere (47). (See Brine flowers .)
Frost smoke ( Frost fog, Fum e é e congel e é e [F], Sea smoke, Water smoke ).
The fog,
cloud, or mist that forms at low temperatures over water areas,
young ice, or damp ground (47). (See Barber, Biofog .)

EA-I. Glossary

Frost table .
A more or less irregular surface that represents the penetra–
tion of spring and summer thawing of the seasonal frozen ground
( active layer ). It is not to be confused with permafrost table (31).
Frozen ground ( Eisboden [G], Taele [S], Tjäle [S]).
Ground that has a tempera–
ture of 0°C. or lower, and generally contains a variable amount of
water in the form of ice (31). (See Active layer, Permafrost .)
Frozen lakes .
This expression is often used to mean small, necessarily
shallow, lakes that have been formed on large floes or fields of
sea ice, most often paleocrystic ice, or upon a glacier or icecap,
and which freeze to the bottom soon after summer is over (47).
Fum e é e congel e é e [F].
See Frost smoke .
Funneling .
An acceleration of the wind stream which occurs when a natural
or artificial obstruction diverts the wind stream, causing an
upward spiral eddy. The eddy carries snow back into the main air
stream and removes it from the base of the obstruction, leaving a
curved depression in the snow (40).

EA-I. Glossary

Gefrornis [G].
See Permafrost .
Gel e é e blanche [F].
See Hoar .
Giant floe .
See Ice field .
Givre [F].
See Rime .
Glace bris e é e [F].
See Brash .
Glace compacte [F].
See Compact ice .
Glace c o ô ti e è re [F].
See Coastal ice .
Glace de baies [F].
See Bay ice .
Glace de fjords [F].
See Fjord ice .
Glace de socle [F].
See Shelf ice, Tabular iceberg.
Glace e é paisae [F].
See Heavy ice .
Glace ferm e é e [F].
See Fast ice .
Glace fixe [F].
See Fast ice .
Glace morc e l e é e [F].
See Slob .
Glace navigable [F].
See Sailing ice .
Glace p e é n e é trable [F].
See Open ice .
Glace plate [F].
See Level ice .
Glace pourrie [F].
See Rotten ice .
Glaces anciennes [F].
See Paleocrystic ice .
Glaces de d e é rive [F].
See Drift ice .
Glace stri e é e [F].
See Slot ice .
Glacial anticyclone .
The term is intended to cover the system of outward
blowing winds which is considered to be at all times above and
around the continental glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica. Of
variable intensity, these winds at times attain velocities of 150

EA-I. Glossary

miles per hour. They cause a downdraft from the stratosphere
within central regions of the glaciers and inblowing winds at
stratosphere levels. The aeolian deposits which surround the
continental glaciers are considered by W. H. Hobbs to prove that
they were likewise covered by glacial anticyclones (19a).
Glacial geology .
The study of existing glaciers with their snow fields and
areas of alimentation by all processes; also the study of the
extent of and topography produced by glacial erosion and glacial
deposition both in the Pleistocene and earlier glacial periods
whose deposits and erosional forms are preserved in solid rock
now buried beneath the earth surface. Also the study of icebergs
(29a).
Glaciation .
The condition of being covered by an xxxx ice sheet or by glaciers;
the erosive action exercised by land ice upon the land over which
it flows. Also a meteorological term used to describe the shift in
a cloud from supercooled water to ice crystals (39; 67).
Glaciation on manteaux [F].
See Highland glacier .
Glacier ( Brae [D], Bre [N], Fonn [D], Gletscher [D and G], Jökull [I],
Sermik [E]).
A body of ice (usually with some firn) formed by
metamorphism of snow, lying wholly or largely on land, and showing
evidence of present or former flow (3; 15).
Glacier, cirque, continental, distributory, expended foot, foot, hanging ,
highland, highpolar, intermontane, outlet, piedmont, polar, re-
generated, regimen of, stagnant, subpolar, temperate, through ,
tidal, transection, tributary, trunk, valley, wall-sided .
See
Cirque glacier, Continental glacier, etc.

EA-I. Glossary

Glacier advance .
The term is used to describe the behavior of a glacier whose
terminus is moving forward in a down-valley direction or thickening,
as distinct from a terminus which is stationary or receding. It
does not refer to the actual englacial flow of ice which, except
in a stagnant glacier, continues regardless of the behavior of the
terminus (14).
Glacier behavior .
Refers to the activity of a glacier or feature of a glacier,
no matter whether this denotes change or no change in such aspects
as length, volume, appearance, rate of movement, or in the relation–
ship between the areas of accumulation and dissipation (14).
Glacier cap .
According to Ahlmann, the second-largest glacier type, judged
by area, not as larger as inland ice, such as Vatnajökull in Iceland
and Northeast Land, Svalbard (1; 42).
Glacieret .
A small glacier on a mountain slope on in a cirque; never as
large as valley glacier (14).
Glacier ice .
A metamorphic rock derived from firn. As firn becomes denser
(pressure and recrystallization) it becomes less permeable. At a
density of approximately 0.8, the apparent porosity approaches zero
and firn becomes ice by definition (3; 15).
Glacier in equilibrium ( Stationary glacier, Stationärer gletscher [G]).
A
glacier in equilibrium with its environment ( ablation = accumulation ).
It is stationary in the sense that it neither advances nor recedes (3).
Glacierization .
The inundation of land by ice. Flint prefers the term “glacier–
covered” (15; 67).

EA-I. Glossary

Glacier mice ( Jökla-m s [I]).
Small stones reported from Iceland as found
on glacier surfaces so far from nunataks that they must have
been separated from parent land through a long span of years,
yet they are so covered with fluffy and spiney moss, even on
their undersides, that in [: ] photographs they remind of curled-up
porcupines, the small ones reminding of mice (13a).
Glacier mill .
See Moulin .
Glacier recession .
Backward or up-glacier melting of the terminus or the
borders of a glacier (27a).
Glacier table .
A block of sonte stone supported by a pedestal of ice on the
surface of a glacier (27).
Glacier tongue .
Glacier ice extending seaward from shore; the source of
icebergs. Also used to describe the terminal portions of valley
glaciers which are often shaped like a tongue (14; 47).
Glacier variations .
Advances or recessions of a glacier without distinc–
tion as to cause; may affect termini, thickness, or relation to
present or former tributaries. The volume of ice is a major
factor (27a).
Glacier wind .
A draft of cold air blowing out from a cavelike opening in
front of a glacier, caused by the density difference between the
cold air inside and the relatively warm air outside (53a).
Glaciology .
The study of glaciers and glaciations of any period in earth
history (27a).
Gla c ç on [F] ( Ldina [R]).
A piece of sea ice smaller than a floe (47). (See
Bergy bit, Bit, Cake, Growler .)

EA-I. Glossary

Glare .
An indication in a cloudless sky of ice or snow beyond a dark horizon
of land or water. Some claim that ice beyond a dark horizon throws
upward no glare that can be seen, and that if a glare is seen the
sky is not really cloudless at the horizon, whereupon the word
should be blink (47).
Glass ice ( Sklianka [R]).
A thin k sparkling crust on a calm sea produced
by the coalescence of patches of ice fat (68).
Glaze or Glazed frost ( Verglas [F]).
Formed by the freezing of water as a
film of ice on any solid object. The water may be derived from
rain, melted snow or ice, dew or water droplets from mist (3; 40).
(See Glitter, Icing .)
Gletscher [D and G].
See Glacier .
Glimmer ice ( Mica glac e é e [F], Naslud [R]).
Fine ice formed on the [: ]
surface of old ice from thaw water, usually in the spring (25; 70).
( See Snow-water pool .)
Glitter .
Such icing over a frozen land that it prevents animals like cattle
and reindeer from feeding because the vegetation is caked in ice.
A glitter is produced when just enough rain falls on snow to con–
vert it into slush, which then freezes. If there is too much rain,
the snow is converted to water that flows away; if it rains too
little, a crust instead of a glitter is formed on the snow. The
word is said to be from the north of Scotland or from the Orkneys
(47). (See Glaze, Ice storm, Icing .)
Gniloi led [R].
See Rotten ice .
Godovoi led [R].
See Winter ice .

EA-I. Glossary

Graisse [F].
See Ice fat .
Granular snow .
A precipitation of white, opaque, snowlike grains similar to
soft hail but more or less flattened or oblong and generally less
than 1 mm. in di a meter, at least in one direction. They do not
noticeably rebound or disintegrate when falling on hard ground
(53a). (See Sphaerokrist a lle .)
Graupel ( Gr e é sil [F], Snow pellet ).
A snow crystal (or flake) thickly coated
with rime. It may retain some of the original form of the crystal
or may be approximately spherical, when it is spoken of as re–
sembling a miniature snowball; the size may range up to that of
a small pea. Thiessen considers it to be formed by the freezing
of water droplets onto snow crystals falling through clouds (48;
53a). (See Soft hail .)
Gravel mound or Grave mound .
See Frost blister .
Gravity water .
Water in excess of pellicular water and which can, therefore,
be drawn away by the force of gravity (31).
Grease .
See Ice fat .
Gr e é sil [F].
See Graupel .
Grondeur [F].
See Growler .
Grounded ice .
Ice that is so heavily aground that it does not move before a
wind or current (47).
Ground fog .
A mass of water droplets forming at the lower levels of the at–
mosphere by radiation cooling or advection which occurs whenever
the air cools below the dew point (39).

EA-I. Glossary

Ground frost .
Indicates the occurrence and effects of freezing temperatures
below the ground surface (5 2 ). (See Active layer, Permafrost .)
Ground ice ( Boden e is [G], Eis im Boden [G], Fossil ice, Iskopaemyi led [R],
Jordbundsis [D], Steineis [G], Stone ice, Subsoil ice , Subter–
ranean ice
, Underground ice , Ureis [G]).
Chunks, lenses, or layers
of ice found in the earth under permafrost conditions. Some writers,
for instance Markham, formerly used ground ice where we now use
anchor ice (7; 26; 27; 31). (See C yr ry stosphene .)
Ground - ice mound .
See Frost mound .
Ground-ice wedge .
See Ice vein .
Ground moraine .
A relatively widely distributed moraine believed to have ac–
cumulated beneath a glacier or to have been deposited through the
process of ablation melting (15).
Groundwater, confined .
A body of groundwater overlain by material sufficiently
impervious to server free hydraulic connections with overlying
groundwater except at the intake. Confined water moves in conduits
under the pressure due to difference in head between intake and
discharge areas of the confined water body (31).
Growler ( Grondeur [F], Tartysh [R]).
A hard, solid and substantial piece of
ice so deep in water as to be barely awash, usually broken from
an iceberg or heavy floe. Some define a growler as glacier ice
rising between 2 and 7 feet above water, smaller than a bergy bit
(47; 66).
Gustoi led [R].
See Close ice .

EA-I. Glossary

Hail .
Solid precipitation usually formed by the successive freezing of water
layers and growing outward from a solid center in semitransparent
layers; soft hail is a snow c yr ry stal which has become coated with
frozen cloud droplets to become a snow pellet or graupel. These
particles are sometimes are core of a true hailstone (39; 40; 48).
(See Small hail .)
Hailstone .
A single unit of hail varying in size from pea to grapefruit, even
larger; if below pea size the reference is to small hail. The
largest recorded hailstone fell at Potter, Nebraska, July 6, 1928;
it measured 17 inches in circumference and weighed 1 1/2 pounds (53a).
Hailstorm .
Generally a severe or prolonged thunderstorm in which hail occurs
(53a).
Hanging glacier .
A glacier occupying a hanging valley, a hanging cirque or
ledge, and sometimes even the edge of a plateau (42).
Hanging valley .
A hanging valley is formed when the main valley of a glacial
stream erodes its bed at a faster rate than its tributary valleys,
leaving the latter considerably higher and “hanging” at their junc–
tion (14; 15).
Haycock .
Isolated ice blocks in the form of a haycock, thrown up above the
surface of land ice or shelf ice resulting from pressure or ice move–
ment. Radiating crevasses are always present (47).
Heaving .
See Frost heaving .
Heavy ice ( Glace e é paisse [F], Tiazhelyi led [R]).
Any sea ice more than 4
or 6 feet in thickness.
Hengeskavl [N].
See Skafl .

EA-I. Glossary

Highland glacier ( Glaciation en manteau [F], Hochlandeis [G]).
Glacier
covering the highest or central portions of a mountain district,
from which ice streams issue through the valleys (e.g., in the
interior of Spitsbergen, particularly New Friesland) (41).
High-polar glacier .
A glacier which consists, at least in its accumulation
areas, of firn with temperatures below freezing point to a con–
siderable depth (according to Seligman, at least several hundred
ft.). Even in summer the temperature in the accumulation area
is so low that as a rule there is no melting accompanied by the
formation of water (l). (See Polar glacier, Subpolar glacier .)
Hinge crack .
A longitudinal crack formed in front of a pressure ridge
because of its weight; sometimes called weight crack (47; 57).
Hoar or Hoarfrost ( Gel e é e blanche [F]).
Crystals formed by sublimation of
water vapor onto any fixed object. The word hoar comes from Anglo–
Saxon and Old Norse, where it means white or light gray (47; 48).
Hochlandeis [G].
See Highland glacier .
Hole ( Dyra [R], Lunka [R]).
An opening through the ice (see rotten ice );
a round or irregular patch of open water in an area where floes
are otherwise closely packed together (47).
Horn .
Three or more cirques gnawing inward against a single high part of
the mountain crest can sculpture the high part into a pyramid
(called a horn by climbers) with several facets, each facet being
the head wall of one of the cirques (15).
Horned iceberg .
A berg nearing final stages of destruction by wave action

EA-I. Glossary

with sharply angular projections caused by unequal melting (43).
(See Weathered iceberg .)
Human and animal fog .
See Biofog .
Hummock or Hummocked ice ( Toros [R] or Torosistyi led [R]).
A heap of sea
ice produced by marginal crushing of floe or other ice. When
new, a hummock consists of angular pieces, perhaps with snow in
the crevices; hummocks of one or two summers have rounded angles
but still a rugged appearance, as of miniature mountains. After
several summers, hummocks on a floe or field produce the effect
of a rolling prairie (6; 47; 66). (See Paleocrystic ice; Ropak .)
Hummocking ( Moutonnement [F]).
Process by which sea ice is built up into
heaps and ridges (47). (See Bending, Rafting, Screwing, Tenting .)
Hummocky floes or Hummocky fields ( Scholleneis [G]).
Areas of hummocked
ice frozen together (47).
Hydrolaccolith .
A large frost mound produced by the freezing of water into
a lenticular body of ice (31). (See Bulguniskh, Frost mound, Pingok .)
Hygroscopic moisture .
The thin film of water on the surface of ground par–
ticles which is not capable of movement through gravitational or
capillary forces (31).
Hydrometeor .
Any product of condensation of atmospheric water vapor, liquid
or solid, whether formed in the free atmosphere or at the earth’s
surface, thus including snow, hail and other frozen precipitation
as well as glaze, glitter, and like (53a).
Hygroscopic moisture .
The thin film of water on the surface of ground par–
ticles which is not capable of movement through gravitational or
capillary forces (31).

EA-I. Glossary

Ice .
Frozen water; any of the crystalline phases of hydrogen oxide (water
substance), only one of which is known to exist under natural con–
ditions (3).
Ice, acicular, anchor, bay, black, bottom, brash, broken, calf, calved, candle ,
cat, close, coastal, compact, confluent, conglomeratic, cream, depth ,
dirty, disturbed, drift, East, fast, field, fine aggregate, fjord ,
floe, frazil, fresh, glacier, glass, glimmer, ground, grounded ,
heavy, hummocked, laminated, land, level, light, lolly, one-year ,
open, pack, paleocrystic, pancake, pelagic, penitent, polar, polar
fast, pond, pressure, rafted, residual, river, rotten, rough, rubber ,
running, sailing, scattered, sea, sheet, shelf, shore, slob, slot ,
sludge, snow, spray, stranded, stream, sweet-water, talus, West ,
window, winter, young .
See Acicular ice, Anchor ice, etc.
Ice age .
A period of geologic history during which considerable parts of the
earth were covered with glacial ice (53a).
Ice banshee .
See Cracking, Ice yowling .
Ice bar .
See Ice edge .
Ice barrage ( Barrage ).
The pandemonium of noise produced when sea ice is being
crushed, especially if against a coast and in cold and calm weather.
Even among drift ice, where the noise is least, Shackleton wrote:
“The din, din, DIN, shall I ever forget it?” Nansen goes nearly to
the limit of the language describing the racket as heard when the Fram
drifted in the pack; Stefansson describes the maximum effect heard on
a calm midwinter night, as having “every conceivable sound from the
booming of a cannon to the thousand times magnified screeching of a
rusty hinge.” Barrage din is seldom reported; for it is usually

EA-I. Glossary

obscured, especially along a coast, by the local tumult of a
gale which overcomes distant sounds (47).
Ice barrier .
See Shelf ice .
Ice bay .
See Bay .
Iceberg ( Berg, Eisberg [G], Isberg [N], Isbjaerg [D], Isfjaeld [D], Ledianaia
gora [R], Sikuleq [E]).
A mass of floating or stranded glacier
ice rising more than 16 feet above the surface of the sea when
afloat (47).
Iceberg , black and white , blocky , horned , ice island , pyramidy , tabular ,
unconformity , weathered .
See Black and white iceberg, Blocky ice-
berg, etc.
Iceberg tabula ri ir e [F].
See Tabular iceberg.
Iceblink ( Clart e é des glaces [F], Eisblink [G], Isblink [D], Ledianoi otblesk
[R]).
See Blink, Glare, Sky map .
Ice block .
See Ice jam .
Icebound .
Surrounded with ice so as to be incapable of advancing, as an ice–
bound vessel; so surrounded or obstructed with ice as to be hin–
dered from access to a coast or harbor (63).
Icecap .
A domed glacier, large or small, covering a land area of moderate
relief. While this appears to be the commonest usage, eminent men
disagree; for Ahlmann says he calls Vatnajökull in Iceland a glacier
cap because it is “not large enough to be called an icecap or
inland ice.” Historically, an icecap should be the largest pos–
sible body of land ice, for the concept is derived from the Greek
cosmographic doctrine of the Five Zones — one too hot for life,

EA-I. Glossary

the torrid; two suitable for plants and animals, the temperate;
and two so cold that life was impossible, the frigid. Each frigid
zone was then conceived as having an icecap centered at its pole
and extending symmetrically in all directions until it nearly or
quite touched the edge of the adjoining temperate zone, with all
waters frozen to the bottom and all lands snow- or ice-covered
(14; 47). (See Continental glacier, Ice sheet, Inland ice .)
Ice cave .
A cave in which ice lasts through the whole year or the greater
part of it. In winter the cold, hence heavy, air flows downward
into the cave and displaces the warm air which rises and flows
away. In summer the warm air cannot flow downward into the cave;
hence any slight warming within the cave is by the slow conduction
of heat through the overhead column of air or through the ground,
which may not suffice to melt the ice (53a). (See Induced permafrost .)
Ice cliff ( Barrier, Barri e è re [F], Chinese wall, Zator [R]).
The steep terminus
of a glacier which rests in water or on the edge of a precipice (14).
Ice confetti .
See Spicule fog .
Ice conglomerate .
See Conglomeratic ice .
Ice core .
The ice underlying the firn snow which often covers the rock of a
ridge (40).
Ice cornice .
See Cornice .
Ice-cream ice .
See Cream ice .
Icecrete .
Material made from aggregates with ice acting as the cementing agent.
used as a substitute for concrete during no-thaw periods in the
North (38). (See Snowcrete .)

EA-I. Glossary

Ice-crystal fog .
See Spicule fog .
Ice crystals ( Cristaux de glace [F], Eiskristallen [G], Ledian v y e igly [R]).

The form in which ice always, so far as we know, appears in nature.
Five types have been distinguished: hexagonal columns, pyramids
and plates, triangular and twelve-sided plates. Like raindrops,
they originate through condensation upon some sort of nucleus. The
hexagonal is the usual form but it is varied by countless patterns
of complicated design which are believed to depend on the life his–
tory of the crystal. The union of several ice crystals produces
a snowflake; in glaciers the crystals are sometimes “as big as
small watermelons” (Sharp). The formation of ice crystals marks
the initial stage of the freezing of water (39; 41; 42; 70).
Ice dike .
A formation of secondary ice along a crevice in a glacier or
ground ice (42; [: ] 63).
Ice edge ( Kromka lda [R]).
The boundary at any given time between pack ice
and the open sea. It may be a regular line with considerable tight–
ening of the floes along the edge, known as a sea bar or ice bar,
or may consist of a succession of ice streams or patches, or may be
frayed out into a number of points and bights, with perhaps off–
lying isolated fragments. The position of the ice edge depends on
wind and tide, and varies considerably from day to day and year to
year. The average position for any given month, based on observa–
tions over a number of years, is described as the monthly [: ] ice
limit (66).

EA-I. Glossary

Ice fall .
An interruption in the relatively smooth surface of a glacier,
caused by an abrupt steepening in the slope of its bed, resulting
in a fracture d zone of crevasses and s e é racs (14; 47).
Ice fat ( Eisbrei [G], Graisse [F], Grease, Salo [R]).
Tiny ice crystals which
coalesce and gather on the surface of the sea to make it look as if
covered with small patches of congealed fat. Ice fat gives the
sea a look as if watered silk (moire) had been spread over it (42; 68).
Ice feathers .
See Rime .
Ice field ( Champ de glace [F], Eisfeld [G], Field, Giant floe, L e dianoe pole
[R], Smoroz [R]).
The largest connected area of drift ice. They are
from several to scores of miles wide; their limits cannot be seen
from a ship’s masthead. Also the large accumulation basin of a
glacier (3; 47).
Ice flowers ( Flower ice ).
(1) Crystals sublimed onto ice sheets over water at
points where a high concentration of water vapor exists, for in–
stance, close to cracks in the ice. (2) The crust of salt crystals
that forms on top when young ice gets thick enough, or the tempera–
ture of the air low enough, so that the brine slush freezes hard.
(3) Ice crystals within a sheet of ice, or on the surface of quiet,
slowly freezing water, which form flower-like designs (40; 47; 53a).
(See Salt crust .)
Ice fog .
A cloud of ice crystals produced in the lower levels of the atmos–
phere whenever the air cools below −39°C. and the air is super–
saturated with respect to ice. A spicule fog may be produced under

EA-I. Glossary

similar conditions at temperatures warmer than −39°C. if the
air contains sufficient numbers of foreign particles which
serve as ice nuclei (39) .
Ice foot ( Banquette c o ô ti e è re [F], Ceinture des glaces [F], Collar ice ,
Lisi e è re des glaces [F], Podosh v a lda [R], Ruban [R]).
Ice step
attached to the coast, unmoved by tides, and remaining after the
ordinary fast ice has moved away (6; 66).
Ice fringe ( Frost ribbon ).
A deposit on objects of moisture exuded from
plants and appearing as frost fringes. As frost ribbon, this
has been described as produced by the freezing of water that
rises by capillary action in one or more sap tubes, and comes to
the surface mainly, if not wholly, through a row of minute open–
ings (53a).
Ice front .
The present terminus of a glacier whether upon the land, in the
sea, in a river, or in a lake. The term should not be applied in
this sense to isolated floating ice in sea water as in the Arctic
and Antarctic regions (2 5 7 a).
Ice glands .
Nearly vertical columns of coarsely crystalline ice, recognizable
during the ablation season as bumps or pimples on the surface of
a glacier’s firn field. They run through the firn mass in irregular,
vertical belts, and in appearance resemble gnarled trunks or columns.
They may be 6 feet in diameter and are associated with ice bands and
ice lenses (1).
Ice gush .
Debris of ice and water in a crevasse of a glacier (63).
Ice heap .
See Icing mound .
Ice hillock .
See Icing mound .

EA-I. Glossary

Ice hour ( Iedianoi chas [R]).
The mean interval between the culmination of
the moon and the closest following tidal compression of ice at
any given place. This term proposed by Zubov, and apparently now
in use by Soviet oceanographic students of sea-ice problems,
analogizes from standard tidal phraseology. He says that just
as the mean (high-water) tidal interval is determined for every
port, the ice hour should be determined at a given location from
a series of observations. In establishing the ice hour, it
should, however, be taken into consideration that the closing in
and opening up of ice is not caused by tides alone. Ice movement
caused by tides is characteristic of narrow straits with much-
indented shores, a complicated bottom relief, and swift tidal cur–
rents. After the ice hours have been established for a number of
points in a given area, it will be possible to use a line drawn
between them to show the simultaneous tidal compression of ice.
This information will be useful to navigators for plotting courses,
planning arrival and departure times of vessels, etc. (34a; 69).
Ice island .
An island completely buried under snow or ice, showing no exposed
rock surfaces. Also name applied by flyers to particularly land–
like ice fields observed drifting in or north of the Beaufort Sea
(14; 47; 57). (See Floeberg, Ice foot, Ice island , Paleocrystic ice .)
Ice island iceberg .
A berg having a conical-shaped or dome-shaped summit;
often mistaken by mariners for ice-covered islands (57).
Ice jam ( Zaboi [R]).
The heaping up of broken river ice in spring at a bend
or narrow part of the channel, permitting the water to dam up

EA-I. Glossary

behind the jam, perhaps to flood surrounding lowland. Formerly,
an ice jam was sometimes called an ice block, as by Markham (23; 47).
Ice limit .
The greatest extent of the ice at any given time; also the average
position of the ice edge at any given period, based on observation
over many years (47; 51).
Ice mound .
See Frost mound .
Ice mushroom .
See Mus h room pillars .
Ice needle ( Ice spicule ).
A thin shaft of ice which seems to float in the
air when made visible by sunshine. It is considered that cirrus
clouds are mostly composed of ice needles. Not to be confused
with needle ice when that expression is used as a synonym for candle
ice (53a).
Ice pellets .
Raindrops frozen solid by passing through a cold layer in the
atmosphere (40). (See Sleet .)
Ice pipe .
Cylindrical-shaped ice vein (38).
Ice point .
The temperature of a mixture of pure ice and water in phase equil–
ibrium under a pressure of 760 mm. of mercury. It is the melting
point of pure ice at this pressure and equals 0°C. by definition (3).
Ice Pole .
See Pole of Inaccessibility .
Ice pond .
A pond from which people saw or cut ice for use as drinking and cook–
ing water during winter or for refrigeration purposes during summer
(47).
Icequake .
Crash or concussion attending the breaking up of masses of ice (63).
(See Jökulhlaup .)
Ice rind ( Eisrinde [G], Incrustation de glace [F]).
Thin, hard ice formed by

EA-I. Glossary

the freezing of slush in calm water at low temperatures (47).
(See Glass ice, Nilas .)
Ice shed .
A glacial divide or crest from which ice moves in opposite di–
rections (63).
Ice sheet .
One of the two main types of glaciers, the other being valley
glacier. In contrast to valley glaciers, sheets are not confined
to valleys and may spread to continental size, as the 5,000,000–
square-mile sheet of Antarctica and the 637,000-square-mile one
of Greenland which, together, contain 97% of all the glacier ice
in the world. In recent usage, both large and small ice sheets
are sometimes called icecaps though for m erly an icecap was thought
of as vast in size (15; 47).
Ice sky ( Ledianoe nebo [R]).
See Blink, Sky map .
Ice sludge .
See Sludge .
Ice spicule .
See Ice needle .
Ice stalagmites .
Stalagmites formed by drip of water exactly as are true
stalagmites (40).
Ice storm ( Silver thaw ).
A storm in which rain forms ice on the ground and
upon objects because they are at a subfreezing temperature (53a).
(See Glitter .)
Ice stream .
A term applied to the valley portion of a glacier where its sides
are well defined and where the characteristic manifestations of
flow are evident. At sea it is an isolated strip of brash or pack ,
narrower than a broken belt, pressed together by wind, swell, or
tide, usually moving or thought of as moving along a coast line
(14; 66).

EA-I. Glossary

Ice ton .
The theoretical number of heat units required to melt 1 ton of
freshwater ice at 32°F. It is 284,000 B.t.u., taking a ton at
2,000 lb. (63).
Ice tremor ( Tremor ).
That trembling of heavy sea ice which is not per–
ceptible to the ordinary unaided human senses but which is re–
vealed by things like the trembling of the surface of a bowl of
mercury. This tremor is considered to be due to the crushing of
ice at a great distance, perhaps tens of miles from the observa–
tion point (47).
Ice umbrellas .
See Mushroom pillars .
Ice vein ( Ground-ice wedge ).
A narrow crack or fissure of the ground filled
with ice which may extend below the permafrost table. Leffingwell
says that open frost cracks (in the ground) are in a favorable
position for being filled with water from the melting snow, as most
of them lie in depressions upon a flat surface. Those that by
chance get no water may become filled with ice crystals deposited
by the damp sir, by internal “breathing.” The crack is thus filled
with solid ice from the freezing of the water, or contains much ice
in the form of frost crystals, so that a narrow vein of true ground
ice is formed in the portion which lies below the depth reached by
the annual thawing (26; 31).
Ice warping .
See Warping .
Ice worms ( Snow worms ).
Worms ( Mesenchytraeus solifugus ; O Ø ligochaetous O Ø ligochaetous
annelidsannelids) usually less than 3/4 inch in length and black or brownish-
black in color, found in thaw water on glaciers. They were reported
from [: ] Switzerland centuries ago; in North America they have been
reported from Alaska south to California (34; 64).

EA-I. Glossary

Ice yowling ( Yowling ).
An unearthly, doleful, long-drawn-out screech head
in winter on large northern lakes when a crack, tens of miles
long, forms through ice contraction caused by a drop in tempera–
ture. Presumably the sound would be like a gunshot if all of it
reached the ear simultaneously; but the sound from the nearest
part of the crack arrives first, and from more remote parts later
and later, producing the effect of a banshee scream (47). (See
Cracking .)
Icicles .
Ice stalagtites formed by the freezing of pendant water droplets (40).
Icing ( Naled [R]).
Surface ice formed in winter by successive freezings of
sheets of water from a spring or river, the structure thus being
laminated, with the oldest layers farthest down; the term also
refers to this process of ice formation. If thick and localized,
the name is icing mound ; when it outlasts the summer it is a taryn
in Russian. On cliffs near the sea, seaside structures, and vessels
at sea in cold weather, icing is formed by spray; it may be formed
on most anything by rain at below-freezing temperatures. In avia–
tion, the formation of ice on aircraft in flight; can form at any
temperature below 32°F. and has been observed as low as −40°F.;
the heaviest icing usually occurs between 32° and 15°F. [: ]
(31; 42; 43; 48; 53a). (See Flooding, Glitter .)
Icing mound ( Ice heap, Ice hillock ).
A localized icing of substantial thick–
ness but of more or less limited areal extent; may also form entirely
or in part by the upwarp of a layer of ice (as in a river) by the
hydrostatic pressure of water (31).

EA-I. Glossary

Incrustation de glace [F].
See Ice rind.
Indlandsis [D].
See Inland ice .
Induced permafrost .
This is permafrost found outside ordinary permafrost
limits in a region which does not have the usual required conditions.
Naturally induced permafrost is found where caves or other natural
openings, vertical ly or slanting ly downward into the earth, permit
gravity-controlled storage of enough cold winter air to preserve
frost through the full length of the summer, as in various ice caves
that are outside the regular permafrost areas. Artifically induced
permafrost is found in pits dug by man into unfrozen ground which
are deep enough to hold a sufficient amount of winter-chilled air
to maintain at the bottom of the pit a below-freezing temperature
throughout all summers, as in the burial pits of the Altai Plateau
(47).
Inland ice ( Indlandsis [D]).
The interior portion of any ice sheet, frequently
applied to the icecap of Greenland. Logically this name fits the
even greater icecap of the Antarctic Continent but it is not often
so used (47). (See Continental glacier, Icecap, Ice sheet .)
Intergelisol ( Pereletok [R]).
A layer of frozen ground between the permafrost
or pergelisol and the active layer or mollisol, which may persist
for one or several years (9).
Intermontane glacier .
A glacier, produced by the confluence of numerous moun–
tain and valley glaciers, which occupies spacious troughlike
depressions between separate mountain ranges or mountain groups
(28). (See Ice stream .)

EA-I. Glossary

Intrapermafrost water .
Groundwater in unfrozen layers, lenses, or veins
within the permafrost (31).
Involution .
A process of snow cornice change which beings begins as soon as a
cornice has formed, sometimes even during formation; it sinks
[: ] slowly by its own weight, the pointed tip dropping farthest
owing to its being the thinnest and weakest portion. This ac–
centuates the rounded appearance often possessed by cornices.
Seligman proposed this name, a translation of the German
Einrollen (40).
Isberg [D].
See Iceberg .
Isbjaerg [D].
See Iceberg .
Isblink [D].
See Iceblink .
Isfjaeld [D].
See Iceberg .
Iskopaemyi led [R].
See Ground ice .
Island of talik .
Unfrozen ground beneath the seasonally frozen ground
( active layer ), surrounded on its sides by the permafrost, and
extending vertically to the bottom of the permafrost (31).

EA-I. Glossary

Jeune glace [F].
See Young ice .
Jökla-m s [I].
See Glacier mice .
Jökulhlaup [I].
The word means glacier-leap, implying a sudden uplift and
fracturing of a glacier, therefore perhaps to be translated,
glacier-burst; it describes an excessively rapid large-scale glacial
ablation, due to subglacial volcanic activity coupled with the
resultant torrential runoff, which carries huge blocks of ice as
well as glacially derived rock debris over an outwash plain.
These cateclysms of destruction occur chiefly in Iceland, particu–
larly on its south coast, when a wall of water and broken ice,
described as tens and even scores of feet high, rushes down a valley,
sweeping away not merely all bridges, roads and other man-made
things but also the soil, to make the valley in effect a desert
(22; 47).
Jökull [I].
See Glacier .
Jordbundsis [D].
See Ground ice .

EA-I. Glossary

Kannik [E].
Falling snow — applied to snow only while it is on its way
from the sky to the ground (47).
Kar [G].
See Cirque .
Kettle .
A depression that occurs in glacial drift, usually stratified, that
has been made by the wasting away of a mass of ice that had lain
wholly or partly buried in the drift (15).
Kettle or Kettle-hole lake .
See Cave-in lake .
Kromka lda [R].
See Ice edge .
Krupnobityi led [R].
Large glacçons (55).
Küsteneis [G].
See Fast ice .

EA-I. Glossary

Lake .
Large patch of open water within the borders of pack ice (33; 43).
(See Polynia, Pool .)
Laminated ice .
Ice formed by the telescoping of thin sheets. As the
resistance to the motion of a layer of ice becomes great, the
thin ice fractures and a new layer is shoved up, so that a
notable thickness of laminated ice may thus be built up. Laminated
ice may also be formed by the development of flow structures
(26; 42). (See Icing, Rafting .)
Land blink .
See Blink, Sky map .
Landfast ice ( Beregovoi pripai [R]).
See Fast ice .
Land floe .
Fast ice which has broken away from the shore; also used as a
synonym of fast ice (47).
Land ice .
Ice that has formed on land, usually from snow; not formed on or
in water (47; 51a).
Land sky .
See Sky map .
Landslide debris .
A ridge of earth on drifting sea ice resulting from a
landslide which descended upon fast ice that later broke loose
from the land. Stefansson reported such a ridge of earth,
boulders, and vegetation that was approximately 55 feet long, 5 feet
high, and 10 feet wide, that rested on a moving floe, beyond
sight of land to the southwest of Meighen Island; Takpuk Island,
north of Alaska, and the Land of Bus, between Greenland and Great
Britain , were probably landslide debris (14; 47). (See Dirty ice .)
Lane .
See Lead .

EA-I. Glossary

Layered permafrost .
Ground consisting of permanently frozen layers alter–
nating with unfrozen layers or taliks (31).
Ldina [R].
See Glacçon.
Lead ( Channel, Lane, Razvodie [R]).
To sailors a lead is a navigable
passage through any kind of ice; to sledge travelers it is an
ice crack too wide for men, sledges, and dogs to cross easily,
i.e., any crack wider than 3 to 5 feet. A lead may still be so
called though frozen over with young or even medium-old ice
(6; 47).
Led bukht [R].
See Bay ice .
Ledianaia gora [R].
See Iceberg ; literally “ice mountain” (55).
Ledianaia kasha [R].
See Slob .
Ledianoi chas [R].
See Ice hour .
Ledianoe nebo [R].
See Ice sky .
Ledianoe pole [R].
See Ice field .
Ledianoi otblesk [R].
See Iceblink .
Ledianoi zabereg [R].
The new ice adhering to the shore (in bays, gulfs,
and among islands) when it beingsbegins to grow outward toward the open
sea. First stage in the formation of fast ice (54; 55).
Ledianye igly .
See Ice crystals .
Ledokhod [R].
See Break-up .
Ledostav [R].
See Freeze-up .
Level ice ( Flacheis [G], G lace plate [F], Rovnyi led [R], Smoroz [R]).
All
unhummocked ice, no matter of what age or thickness. In the early
stages it is more usually termed young ice (66). (See Fjord ice ,
Winter ice .)

EA-I. Glossary

Level of zero annual amplitude .
The level to which seasonal change of tem–
perature extends into permafrost or glaciers. Below this level
the temperature gradient is more or less stable the year round
(3; 31).
Light blink .
See Blink, Sky map .
Light ice .
Winter ice [: ] up to 2 feet in thickness (47). (See Young ice .)
Light sky or Lighted sky .
See Blink, Color sky, Glare, Sky map .
Lisi eè re des glaces [F].
See Ice foot .
Lolly ice .
Fine particles of ice in sea water which, when they are first
formed, are colloidal and are not visible in the water in which
they are floating (4a). (See Frazil ice .)
Loose ice .
See Open ice .
Lunka [R]
See Hole .

EA-I. Glossary

Marble crust .
Extremely hard, iced-up snow, occurring usually in small
round patches. Believed to originate from old wind slab which
had become sodden with rain or thaw water and froze hard. Not
a true crust (40).
Marginal crushing ( Valon [R]).
The process which occurs when floes press
against each other under stress of wind or current. If the
pressure continues, ridges are built up; if it slackens, the
broken pieces fall into the water to become mush or brash ice (47).
Marginal lake .
A lake at the terminal or lateral borders of an ice tongue
(27a).
Melkobityi led [R].
See Brash .
Melting point ( Freezing point ).
The fusion point of a solid. In meteorology,
the point at which ice from pure water melts under normal atmos–
pheric pressure, reckoned at 32°F. or 0°C. (39; 53a).
Merzlota [R].
Frost or freezing.
[: ] Merzlotovedenie [R].
See Permafrostology .
Mica glac e é e [F].
See Glimmer ice .
Middle Pack .
Term frequently used, instead of Baffin Bay Pack, to designate
the entire body of drifting ice west of Greenland; but Smith
defines Middle Pack as the part of the ice that the winds and slow
cyclonic circulation of the bay tend to collect in the central and
Melville Bay sections. The middle position of the pack is somewhat
accentuated in late summer by the widening of the shore waters around
the coasts of Baffin Bay (33; 44). (See North Water, West Ice .)

EA-I. Glossary

Mnogole n tnii led [R].
See Old ice .
Mnogosloinyi led [R].
See Rafted ice .
Mollisol .
See Active layer .
Mollition .
The act or process of thawing the mollisol or active layer (9).
Molodik [R].
See Young ice .
Molodoi led [R].
See Young ice .
Moulin ( Glacier mill ).
A steeply inclined hole in the ice of a glacier which
acts as a discharge channel for surface meltwater (64).
Mountain glacier .
A glacier that has its source near the crests of lofty
mountains and thence descends as a narrow, gradually tapering
tongue, following valleys, much as streams of water follow chan–
nels (28). (See Ice stream, Valley glacier .)
Moutonn e é e [F] ( Weathered ice ).
A term sometimes used to describe the
weathered appearance of hummocky polar ice after the sharp forms
of the hummocks and pressure ridges become rounded through melting
(47). (See Paleocrystic ice .)
Moutonnement [F].
See Hummocking .
Muck .
Mixture of decayed vegetable matter and siltlike material (with a high
water content), often forming the surface layer of the ground in
permafrost areas. In river valleys, much may be as much as 100 feet
thick (31). (See Duff .)
Mud polygon .
See Fissure Polygons .
Mud volcano .
See Pingok .
Mush .
See Brash .

EA-I. Glossary

Mushroom ice .
See Mushroom pillars .
Mushroom pillars ( Umbrella pillars, Ice umbrellas ).
Upward projections of
ice (sometimes f or ro zen mud) formed when some insulator, often a
flag of slate or a wad of moss or peat, shelters the ice beneath
enough so that the ice roundabout melts more rapidly under the
effect of direct sunlight or rain. The opposite of dust hole
(47). (See Niggerheads .)
Muskeg .
A resiliently carpet t ed surface of bog mosses and tussocky sedges
characterized by low bearing power and high moisture content,
and underlain by a saturated bed of peat of variable depth. It
develops in undrained depressions, which have usually been caused
either by glacial action or by the impermeability of an under–
lying permafrost surface. A muskeg area may support a stunted
growth of trees (usually spruce or tamarac k ), but trees are not
an essential element in its development. As the frost leaves
muskegs in the height of summer to depths of several feet, they
become formidable obstacles to overland travel (51a).

EA-I. Glossary

Nabivnoi led [R].
See Rafted ice .
Naled [R].
See Icing .
Nanosnyi led [R].
Ice not made locally; literally, “ice brought down” (55).
Naslud [R].
See Glimmer ice, Snow-water pool .
Nast [R].
The hard crust on ice or snow which forms after a thaw (60).
Natirvik [E].
Snow drifting along the ground, may be high enough so the
horizon is hidden but must not be high enough to obscure the sky
as you look up, for then it would be a birktok. The word is
ordinarily applied to snow drifting shoulder-high, or just a
little higher or lower. This form is used in northern Alaska
and northwestern Canada; the Greenland form is natirnik (47).
(See Pozemka .)
Nebelreif [G].
See Rime .
Needle .
A slender needle-like snow crystal usually having a structure con–
sisting of needle-like components lying parallel and closely knit
together. (Length/diameter greater than 5.) (48)
Needle ice .
See Candle ice .
Neige sauvage [F].
See Wild snow .
Nesiak [R].
See Floeberg .
N e é v e é .
See Firn .
N e é v e é field or slope .
See Firn field .
N e é v e é line .
See Firn line .
New snow ( Fluff ).
Snow unaltered by wind and sunshine following precipitation
and which still possesses a fluffy, feathery, or floury nature (40).
Nieve penitente [Sp].
Fields of pinnacled snow found in high mountains. The

EA-I. Glossary

expression is said to come from the imagination of Latin Amer–
icans who consider that in the Andes these formations resemble a
throng of kneeling worshipers (53a). (See Penitent snow .)
Niggerheads .
Hummocks common to the permafrost grasslands which give the
pedestrian the impression that each is mushroom-shaped, standing
on a stalk somewhat more slender than the top of the hummock so
that, unless you plant your foot in its center, the head of the
hummock seems to nod and your foot slips to one side into a crack
filled with mud or water. Also called women’s heads, t e ê te de
femme (47). (See Mushroom pillars .)
Nilas [R], dark .
Ice that forms on a calm sea when the crystals begin to
adhere to each other in a sheet. It has a crumbly structure;
there is so much salt in it that snow melts as it falls even in
cold weather. When viewed among snowy old ice, the nilas looks
black. When it gets much over an inch thick, it turns into gray
nilas (10).
Nilas [R], gray .
Next stage in ice formation on a calm sea after dark nilas .
When it gets between 2 and 3 inches thick the salt crystals on its
surface become dry enough so snow can drop on this ice without
being salt-melted, if the weather is cold. When broken it is gray
in color, as also on the sea among snowy old ice. In the inter–
mediate stage between dark and gray nilas, thickness between 1 and 2
inches, it splashes ice-cream fashion if dropped on a hard surface;
the gray nilas begins to behave more like freshwater ice (10; 47).
Nip or Nipping ( Pinching ).
Closing up of the ice so as to pinch a vessel and

EA-I. Glossary

prevent her passage. A vessel so caught, although undamaged,
is said to be nipped ( pris ); there is some pressure on her sides,
but it is not dangerous. It differs from beset in that for nipping
you think of two pieces of ice closing like a vise while beset pic–
tures a ship hemmed in from all sides by several pieces of ice
(47; 66).
North Water .
A sea area between Greenland and the Canadian islands, in the
northern end of Baffin Bay, from the vicinity of Cape York and
Lancaster Sound north to Smith Sound, that is relatively or quite
ice-free at all seasons; formerly the rendezvous of Scottish
and other whalers because whales abounded and there was no serious
interference by ice (33; 43; 47). (See Baffin Bay Pack, Middle
Pack, West Ice .)
Nunatak [E].
An island of rock or other land surrounded by glacier ice.
The word (pronounced noo’-na-tak) is from the Eskimo language of
West Greenland and is there usually applied to peaks or small areas
of land that rise out of the inland ice (14; 47).

EA-I. Glossary

Oblomki polei [R].
See Floe .
Oceanocryology .
Cryology in relation to the sea (70).
Odnoletnii led [R].
See Winter ice ; literally “one-year ice” (55).
Offshore water ( Fl e ques d’eau c o ô ti e è res [F], Vodianoi zabereg [R]).
Sheets
of water formed on the ice along the coast by melting of snow on
the shore and on the ice, and also by the melting of the ice (6).
Old ice ( Mnogoletnii led [R], Staryi led [R]).
See Paleocrystic ice, Polar ice .
Old snow .
Snow which has passed beyond the settled or loose-lying powdery
stages. It includes the various types of firn snow, sun crust, and
rain crust, and the harder forms of wind-packed mow (40).
Omelettes de glace [F].
See Pancake ice .
One-year ice ( Odnoletnii led [R]).
Fields and floes of last season are known
the following summer as one-year ice. Water obtained by melting
this ice is nearly or quite fresh to the palate. The thickness
will be less the more snow it had on top and will run, in the Arctic
Sea, toward the end of winter, from 5 or 6 feet with much snow to
8 or 9 with little snow, the average probably around 7 feet (8; 47).
(See Winter ice .)
Open ice ( Glace p e é n e é trable [F], Loose ice, Open pack, Razrezhennyi led [R],
Slack ice ).
The term refers to possibilities of navigation through
drift ice in relation to craft of specified type. For sailing
ships, built or strengthened for ice, it refers to floes so scat–
tered that, with skill and care, a ship could zigzag through
without hitting other than small or weak pieces, implying that the
sea would be something between 20% and 40% ice-covered. The meaning

EA-I. Glossary

would be about the same for modern single screw, unprotected
steamers. The fairly powerful and strong Yankee whaling ships,
as used north of Alaska from the 1880’s to 1906, considered
the ice open perhaps up to 50% cover, if the floes were not
heavy (45; 47). (See Drift ice, Sailing ice .)
Open lead .
A lead that has not been frozen (47).
Open pack .
See Open ice .
Open polar sea .
See Polynia, sea .
Open season .
The time of year during which, so far as ice is concerned,
navigation is ordinarily possible on a northern lake, river, or
part of the Arctic Sea. “An open season” describes a summer when
navigation is longer, less difficult, or both, than during an
ordinary year (47).
Open system .
A condition of freezing of ground when additional supply of
water is available either through free percolation or through capil–
lary movement (31).
Open water ( Chistaia voda [R], Eaux libres [F], Otkrytaia voda [R]).
Water
free of drifting ice, or free enough for permitting a ship to
proceed at moderate speed. Also used of large patches of ice-free
water in a generally ice-encumbered sea. In the latter sense about
the same as a pool (47).
Otblesk [R].
See Blink .
Otkrytaia voda [R].
See Open water .
Outlet glacier .
A glacier that issues from the margin of an icecap and carries
the surplus ice out through deep-cut valleys and fjords. They are
among the longest and mightiest ice-streams in existence, and have
been known to attain lengths well over 100 miles (28).

EA-I. Glossary

Pack or Pack ice ( Banquise [F], Drivis [N], Pak [R], Treibeis [G]).
The
ordinary British-American meaning of pack is sea ice which has
drifted from its original position. It is then classified into:
(1) close pack, (2) open pack, and (3) drift ice. In recent Soviet
li et te rature pack is used for that (estimated) 60 to 80% of Arctic
Sea ice area which is impenetrable to the most powerful modern
ships, other than submarines. This assumes the triplicate classi–
fication of (1) fast ice, (2) drift ice, and (3) pack ice (47; 68; 69 ).
(See Polar Pack .)
Pak [R].
See Pack .
Palabazhnik [R].
Fragments resulting from the break-up of ice rind (55).
Paleocrystic ice ( Glaces anciennes [F], Vieille glace [F]).
Very old sea ice
which simulates land because the pressure ridges have been so
rounded by the sun and rain of many years that a snow-covered pale–
ocrystic field reminds of a winter scene on a rolling Dakota
prairie. This ice was first described from the southern Beaufort
Sea during the Franklin Search of the 1850’s; the name may not have
been coined until by the Nares expedition of 1876-77. Some con–
fusion has developed recently through writings which have applied
the term to ice fractured by heavy pressure and recemented so as
to present great but as yet relatively unweathered pressure ridges
(47). (See Sikussak .)
Paleocrystic Sea .
This term has been used especially by British writers to
describe that part of the Arctic Sea which is occupied to a con–
siderable extent, perhaps from 10 to 30%, by paleocrystic fields

EA-I. Glossary

and floes. From northwestern Ellesmere Island southwestward, this
ice comes within a few miles of the fast ice, or may even touch
it, past Axel Heiberg, Meighen, Ellef Ringnes, Borden, Brock,
Prince Patrick, and Banks Islands, though its landward margins
tend farther offshore as one passes southern Banks; thereafter
the margin trends westerly, to be 100 miles offshore opposite
the Mackenzie Delta but thereafter to approach within 50 miles
from Alaska as far as Point Borrow; thence the trend is still
farther from shore, passing northeastern Siberia at some 200 miles
from the mainland and keeping well north of the New Siberian and
Severnaya Zemlya archipelagoes. North of Greenland the paleocrystic
margin would be the northern “shore” of what Peary called The Big
Lead (47).
Pala [Fi].
See Frost mound .
Pan .
A small floe or cake (55).
Pancake ice ( Blinchatyi led, Omelettes de glace [F], Pfannkucheneis [G],
Plate ice ).
Pieces of newly formed ice, approximately circular,
about 1 to 6 ft. across and with raised rims, due to the pieces
striking against each other. Bruce says that “if the water remain
calm … the crust [of ice] divides into thousands of hexagonal
[or circular-appearing] discs from about an inch to several feet
in diameter, the diameter increasing with the thickness of the …
ice; in between the discs, the shiny black lines of water broaden
into wide lanes, and the surface of the sea is like a patchwork
quilt. Now, some slight disturbance occurs, a little wind or tide,

EA-I. Glossary

which causes the surface waters to come together again, the more
or less hexagonal ice discs hustle together, their delicate sides
and corners are crushed and broken, and are curled up by the pressure.
Thus they become subangular discs, each with a flat interior and
a bruised turned-up edge, like a pancake. Again the motion of
the surface of the water, due as often as not to tide, separates
these discs; again they are hustled together and bruised and get
their edges still more turned up. This goes on continually, and
meanwhile the discs are thickening and solidifying with the con–
tinued low temperature. This ice is known as ‘Pancake ice’” (8; 66).
Passive method of construction .
Method of construction in which the regime
of the frozen ground at and near the structure is not disturbed
(31). (See Active method .)
Passive permafrost .
Permafrost that was formed during earlier, colder
climates. If destroyed it does not reappear (31).
Patches .
Collections of drift ice, the limits of which are visible (57).
Peat mound ( Torfhuegel [G].
See Frost mound .
Pelagic ice .
An obsolete expression for ice formed in the open ocean, removed
from land influences (27).
Pellicular water .
Water adhering as film to rock surfaces or to the surfaces
of grains that compose the rock. Pellicular water is stored water
above the capillary fringe (31).
Penitent snow or ice .
Snow or ice which has been ablated until curious pillars
or columns of snow remain standing out from the lowered snow level.
The term is a translation from Spanish; the formation is rarely ob–
served in the polar regions (40; 64). (See Nieve penitente .)

EA-I. Glossary

Penknife ice .
See Candle ice .
Pereletok [R].
See Intergelisol .
Perforated crust .
A snow crust containing small pits and hollows, formed
by sun evaporation (40).
Pergelation .
See Aggradation of permafrost .
Pergelisol .
See Permafrost .
Permafrost ( Constant soil congelation, Dauerfrostboden [G], Ever-frozen
ground, Gefrornis [G], Pergelisol, Permanently frozen ground ,
Vechnaia merzlota [R]).
That section of frozen ground, below
the active layer, which remains permanently below the melting
point (7; 31; 52).
Permafrost, active, aggradation of, degradation of, dry, induced, layered ,
passive, sporadic .
See Active permafrost, Aggradation of
permafrost, etc.
Permafrost islands .
Spots of permafrost, with upper surfaces usually from
5 to 10 or more feet down, which may extend to a moderate depth
but which are of limited lateral extent and are surrounded by
extensive areas wholly without permafrost (31). (See Sporadic
permafrost .)
Permafrostology ( Merzlotovedenie [R]).
The science of permafrost (31).
Permafrost table .
An irregular surface which represents the upper limit
of permafrost (31).
Permanently frozen ground .
See Permafrost .
Pfannkucheneis [G].
See Pancake ice .
Piedmont glacier .
A glacier formed by the fusion of two or more valley

EA-I. Glossary

glaciers and occupying, in the form of a broad sheet, level or
gently sloping lowlands at the base of steep mountain slopes
(41; 64). (See Confluent ice .)
Pinching .
See Nip .
Pingok [E] ( Mud volcano ).
A mound of dome or truncated-cone shape, rising
in permafrost country, usually from level or gently rolling land,
composition fine mud or gravel mud, height range up to 250 feet,
frequently with a crater-type lake, hence the white man name “mud
volcano.” If very small, the crater pond may not have broken out;
but often the pond has found one or many avenues of overflow, so
that the crater edge presents a serrated appearance when viewed
from a distance. Leffingwell believes these mounds, particularly
the large ones, caused by the development of artesian conditions,
water breaking through from below and piling up the mud and gravel.
Pingoks have been reported chiefly from western and northern Alaska
and northwestern Canada, where the Eskimo word refers to the sort
of hill just described; in West Greenland the word is pingo and refers
to a small vegetation hummock created through manure fertilization
where a bird habitually sits (26; 47; 49). (See Frost mound .)
Pingorssarajuk [E].
See Frost mound .
Pink snow ( Crimson snow, Red snow ).
The expression is used for snow which,
when viewed in springtime from a distance and at certain angles from
the sun, shows a tinge various described as yellow, orange, pink,
crimson. The color is produced by tiny plants, frequently Sphaerella
nivalis ; in the Arctic it is observed in snowbanks at sea, as well

EA-I. Glossary

as on land, and appears to be most noticeable when the snow is
slightly warmed by day to freeze again during the night. There
is enough of it on the sea ice at times to cause a pink glow in a
clouded sky (47). (See Color sky, Sky map .
Plate ice .
See Pancake ice .
Plateau ice sheet .
A glacier which occupies a more or less flat and plateau–
like area (as opposed to a mountain ice sheet which covers a moun–
tainous, uneven area), the accumulating snow taking the superficial
form of an ice sheet or icecap (15; 64).
Plavuchii led [R].
Floating ice.
Plavun [R].
Literally, “something that floats.” Sometimes used as a synonym
for drift ice, also slud [R] (31; 60).
Plowshare .
A plowshare-shaped depression in snow due to sun evaporation sim–
ilar to that occurring in perforated crust, but intensified. A
plowshare faces the sun at its highest point; Seligman has measured
some 2 feet, 6 inches long (40). (See Foam crust .)
Podoshva lda [R].
See Ice foot .
Pogonip .
See Air hoar .
Poias [R].
See Belt .
Polar .
Used to designate arctic and antarctic areas. It is also used to
refer to various characteristics and aspects of this region, such
as polar ice and polar climate (49).
Polar fast ice .
Fast ice formed by the grounding and cementing together of
polar ice (51).
Polar glacier .
At least in its higher and upper part, a polar glacier consists

EA-I. Glossary

of hard firn formed by slow recrystallization of the annual sur–
plus of accumulated solid precipitation. The temperature of the
glacier is below freezing even in summer down to a certain depth
(according to Seligman, of at least several hundred ft.). Ahlmann
divides polar glacier into high-polar and subpolar glaciers (1).
Polar ice ( Poliarnyi led [R]).
Sea ice that is more than one year old and
which has been subject to hummocking. It is thought of as having
drifted down from higher latitudes (4 8 7 ).
Polar icecap .
The term is historically derived from the mistaken Graeco–
Roman belief that there would be icecaps extending symmetrically
in all directions from both poles — the northern was supposed by
Str o a bo to extend to the vicinities of Scotland and the Caspian Sea,
Unless confined to the Antarctic Continent, where an icecap exists
that nearly conforms to the old view, the expression “polar icecap”
should not be used; for at best it is confusing. The only great
icecap of the Northern Hemisphere lies upon Greenland and has its
north end more than 400 miles from the Pole, while some of it is
in the North Temperate Zone; it should be called the Greenland
icecap (47). (See Icecap, Inland ice .)
Polar pack ( Arctic pack, Banquise polaire [F]).
As distinguished from pack ,
or heavy pack, the expression refers to that 80% or so of the
Arctic Sea which surrounds the Pole of Inaccessibility or Ice Pole
and into which ships cannot penetrate (47). (See Paleocrystic ice .)
Poles of cold ( Cold poles ).
The places on the earth’s surface, in the
Northern and Southern Hemispheres, which have the extreme minimum

EA-I. Glossary

temperatures. The northern cold pole is apparently still about
75 miles north of the Arctic Circle near Verkhoiansk, Siberia,
so far as published records go (variously given, with corrections,
at −93° and −95°F.); but since the weather-reporting station of
Oimekon was established, southeast of Verkhoiansk some 200 miles
south of the Circle, consistently lower minima have been reported
from there and it may eventually gain the record. (If annual
means instead of extreme minima were considered, the cold pole of
the Northern Hemisphere would no doubt be somewhere in interior
Greenland.) (47)
Pole of Inaccessibility (Ice Pole).
That spot in the Arctic Sea which is
most remote from all points on the outer margin of the arctic
pack that can barely be reached at any time of year by a ship
under her own power. Preliminary estimates are that the Pole of
Inaccessibility is around 400 miles from the North Pole in the
direction toward Bering Strait, thus near 84° N. and 160° W. (47).
Poliarnyi led [R].
See Polar ice .
Polasa lda [R].
See Belt .
Polygonal markings .
General term for polygonal surface markings of the
ground found in areas that are affected by frost action. This
formation may also occur in settling snow. They are variously
referred to as drought polygons, fissure polygons (primary and
secondary), Karreeböden, mud-flat polygons, mud polygons, Poly
gonböden, rudemarks (rutmarken), soil polygons, Spaltennetz ,
Steinnetz, Steinringe, stone polygons, Strukturböden, “tundra”
polygons, Zellenböden (31; 39).

EA-I. Glossary

Polynia [R], river .
An unfrozen portion or window in river ice which remains
unfrozen during all or a part of the winter owing to a strong
current or to a local inflow of warm water either from a subaqueous
spring or from a tributary (31). (See Clearing, Wake .)
Polynia [R], sea .
Any large enclosed area of water, other than a crack or
lead, among fields and floes of pack ice. From this developed
the “polynia theory” of an “open polar sea” which was favored by
many geographers and explorers in the 19th century (47).
Pond ice .
Formed by the freezing of still, fresh water (40).
Pool .
Water contained in a depression in fields or floes. Some authors
narrow the term to depressions in sea ice containing fresh water;
others broaden it to a synonym for polynia (47) . (See Puddle .)
Pothole .
A hole down into ice and produced in the spring when the sun, on
striking some dark object on the ice, produces local heat that
enables the dark object to melt its way downward more rapidly than
the surrounding ice can thaw. If the hole gets deep enough to
perforate the ice to the sea below, it becomes a drain hole (47).
(See Breathing hole, Dust hole .)
Powder snow .
The early, powdery, or loose-lying stage of fallen snow (40).
Pozemka [R].
A gale during which no snow is falling; all the flying snow is
wind-blown drift picked up from the ground (34a). (See Natirvik .)
Pressure .
Any movement of sea ice (upward, downward, or both) from its orig–
inally level position, usually as a result of lateral movement of
the ice under the influence of wind or current. Land ice subject

EA-I. Glossary

to pressure is said to be “disturbed.” In sea ice, pressure or
hummocking often works in the sequence: (1) bending, (2) tenting ,
(3) rafting, and (4) screwing (57). ) (See Disturbed ice ,
Pressure ridge .)
Pressure area .
Area of hummocked ice formed by floes pressed together and
piled up (66).
Pressure ice ( Screw ice, Szhatyi led [R]).
Ice fragments in heaps, some–
times ridges, produced by crushing (47).
Pressure ice foot ( Stranded hummock ).
Pressure ridge driven by a gale up
onto the shore or onto a tidal platform. Freezing spray may then
transform it into an ice foot. Sometimes referred to as stranded
pressure ridge (57).
Pressure melting .
Partial melting of ice by pressure, which lowers the
melting point, thus causing heat to flow in from the surroundings (3).
Pressure melting point .
The temperature at which ice will melt at a given
pressure other than atmospheric. This causes the temperature
within a glacier, under pressure from the overlying ice, to be
slightly depressed from the freezing temperature under normal at–
mospheric conditions (14).
Pressure ridge .
Pressure heaps arranged in a long row, usually because the
floes or fields responsible for the ridge have met so that nearly
straight edges press against each other (47).
Pribrezh n yi toros [R].
See Coastal hummock .
Prilivnoi greben [R].
Ice thrown against the coast by tides; sometimes mixed
with sand and gravel (6).

EA-I. Glossary

Pris [F].
See Nip .
Progalina [R].
See Clearing .
Proglacial deposits .
Deposits made beyond the limits of a glacier. Three kinds
of deposit constitute this group, accumulated respectively in streams,
in lakes, and in the sea (15).
Promoina [R].
Crack caused by currents (55).
Pripei [R].
See Fast ice .
Prorub [R].
An opening cut in the ice (55).
Protaline [R].
A thawed area where naked earth or liquid water is visible (60).
Pseudo island of talik .
Unfrozen ground beneath the seasonally frozen ground
( active layer ) surrounded and underlain by continuous permafrost (31).
Puddle .
A depression in sea ice, filled with water (43). (See Pool .)
Pul a o [R].
See Slob .
Purga [R].
See Blizzard .
Pyramidy iceberg .
An iceberg that is not blocky; the form varies widely (47).
Quor .
The ice that results when water oozes from the ground in winter and
freezes. Usually this ice is partly made up from the slush first
produced when the upcoming water wets snow that is already on the
ground. The expression is from the fur trade (Hudson’s Bay Company)
(12). (See Icing .)

EA-I. Glossary

Rafted ice ( Mnogosloinyi led [R], Nabivnoi led [R], Telescoped ice, Tented
ice ice , Trains de glace Trains de glace [F].
Ice, consisting to two or more layers,
formed by relatively thin pieces of ice being pushed upon or
beneath other pieces under pressure (6; 47).
Rafting ( Flottage [F]).
Overriding of one or more floes under pressure,
producing ice of two, three, or more layers in thickness (6; 47).
(See Bending, Hummocking, Icing, Laminated ice, Screwing, Tenting .)
Rain crust .
Formed by the snow surface becoming wetted through by rain and
subsequently freezing. Channels are common in rain crust (40).
(See Glitter .)
Ram ( Taran [R]).
A snag jutting out below the water line from a floe or berg,
produced either by the melting of the ice due to an increase in
the temperature of the surface water, or by the original projection
of a lower comp o nent of rafted ice (47). (See Submerged ice foot .)
Ramming ( Bucking ).
Charging ice with a ship under full power, then backing
up and charging again. New England whalers in Alaska waters com–
monly spoke of repeated charging as bucking the ice (47). (See Boring .)
Rauheis [G].
See Rime .
Rauhfrost [G].
See Rime .
Ravine .
An opening in the ice eroded by a current (43).
Razrezhennyi led [R].
See Open ice .
Razdroblennyi led [R].
See Brash .
Razvodie [R].
See Lead .
Reconstituted glaciers .
See Regenerated glaciers .
Redkii led [R].
See Drift ice .

EA-I. Glossary

Red snow .
See Pink snow .
Regelation .
The process involving partial thawing of ice crystals at points
of contact where pressure is most intense, followed by prompt
refreezing when the pressure is relieved. Bader describes it as
“the freezing together of pieces of ice (dry or wet) without heat
loss” (3; 28; 41).
Regenerated glaciers ( Reconstituted or Recemented glaciers ).
A glacier
nourished primarily by avalanching from one or more glaciers at
a higher level. A regenerated glacier may also be a glacier which
becomes active after a period of sta g nation (14).
Regimen of glaciers .
By the regimen or material balance of a glacier is
meant its total accumulation volume during one accumulation season
and its total gross ablation volume during the following ablation
season. If the accumulation volume is larger than the ablation,
regimen has been balanced for a number of years, or if years of
positive regimen have alternated with years of negative, leaving
the dimensions of the glacier unchanged, the glacier is in equil–
ibrium (1).
Regional snow line .
The level above which snow accumulates from year to year
to generate ice bodies over a large part or all of the land,
depending upon, altitude, topography, and precipitation
(28). (See Climatic snow line .)
Reifgraupeln [G].
See Sphaerokristalle .
Residual ice .
Glacial ice which lacks down-valley movement; heaps of ice
which were formerly parts of a glacier. May in some cases be
groups of former icebergs in or upon the site of a glacial lake

EA-I. Glossary

which has been drained, or below the position of a valley-side
glacier which as tumbled downward during a heavy earthquake (27a).
Residual swelling .
The difference between the original prefreezing level
of the ground and the level reached by the settling after the
ground is completely thawed (31).
Rime ( Givre [F], Ice feathers, Nebelreif [G], Rauheis [G], Rauhfrost [G]).

An icy structure formed on the upwind side of solid objects by
the deposition and freezing of supercooled cloud droplets. It
may be a mixture of snow crystals and water droplets but in its
commonest form has fine feathery texture and opaque appearance
(39). (See Glaze .)
Rimey .
Snow that sticks to the gliding surfaces of sleds, particularly
toboggans, in mild weather, making them drag heavy. Term comes
from the fur trade (Hudson’s Bay Company) (12; 47). (See Sticky
surface .)
Ripples .
Structures formed when snow is being driven along the surface by
a wind which is strong enough to pick up the smaller grains but
unable to pick up the larger one. Ripples may also be formed by
ablation (40).
River ice .
Ice formed in rivers. At sea it never represents more than a
very small part of the floating ice and is unlikely to be met with
far from the river delta. The expression is also used for ice
which has become honeycombed during melting and which, therefore,
lacks the strength of other ice. May also apply to ice which dis–
integrates easily because it has become (or always was) fresh and
is now candling (47; 55). (See Candle ice .)

EA-I. Glossary

Roches moutonn e é es [F].
Series of irregular undu l ating bosses formed on the
bedrock surface by the wearing down of glacial action. They have
striated and polished surfaces, especially on their stoss sides,
and were recognized as early as 1787 by Saussure who named them
in fancied resemblance to contemporary wigs slicked down with
mutton tallow. This term has been widely misapplied and mistrans–
lated and according to Flint is of doubtful value at best (15).
Ropak [R] ( Rubak [R]).
Single, small, upright hummock (10; 55).
Rotten ice ( Glace pourrie [F], Gniloi led [R], Rykhlyi led [R], Spring sludge ).

Sea water floes which have become much honeycombed in the process
of melting; river or lake ice that is disintegrating through
candling (47; 66).
Rough ice .
Fast ice, floe or field, that has been made uneven by ridges and
hummocks of pressure ice (47).
Rovnyi led .
See Level ice .
Rubak [R].
See Ropak .
Ruban [R].
See Ice foot .
Rubber ice .
Young salt-water ice that is strong enough to carry the weight in
question but which is nevertheless still so pliable that it well bend
gradually, as when a loaded sledge can cross a lead covered with
young ice but must keep moving because if it stopped the ice would
gradually bend under the weight, finally giving way. Also applied
to freshwater ice having a thickness of not over one inch and
which behaves in a similar manner (39; 47).
Running ice .
Ice in motion or capable of drifting rather rapidly under the
influence of wind or current, in contrast to fast ice (33; 43).
Rykhlyi led [R].
See Rotten ice .
Ryntsala [R?].
Polynia between fast ice and drift ice (55).

EA-I. Glossary

Sailing ice ( Glace navigable [F]).
Ice which is so open as to permit a sail–
ing vessel to navigate without difficulty (6; 57). (See Drift
ice, Open ice, Scattered ice .)
Sallying .
Rolling vessel by means of crew running from side to side in order
to loosen ice round the ship and allow her to make headway (6; 66).
Salo [R].
See Ice fat .
Salt crust .
Salt that gets eliminated (“squeezed out”) from young ice and
pushed upward so it forms at first a brine layer on top of [: ] the
ice and later a crust of salt or, at least, of ice with a heavy
salt content. When snow fells, to blanket the ice from the chill
of the air, the salt crust melts to form brine slush. As long as
no snow falls upon it, it salt crust gives a sandlike character
to the surface of the young ice, so that a sledge drags heavy,
almost as if being pulled across bare ground (47). (See Ice flowers .)
Sand snow .
Snow at −20°C, (−4°F.) or lower, which has such quality that
neither ski nor sledge will glide easily on it. The surface (e.g.,
sled runner) glides with more difficulty the lower the temperature, but this
drag is also dependent on the material of the runner or shoeing (40; 47).
Sarrazins [F].
See Brash .
Sastrugi .
See Zastruga .
Satin ice .
See Acicular ice .
Scattered ice .
The sea is from 10 to 20% covered with ice cakes and floes
(45; 47). (See Open ice, Sailing ice .)
Schelfeis [G].
See Shelf ice .
Schneewasser [G].
See Snow-water pool .

EA-I. Glossary

Scholleneis [G].
See Hummocky floes .
Screw ice .
See Pressure ice .
Screwing .
The stage or form of ice pressure, usually violent, when the floes
that are being crushed have rotating motion. To vessels in the
pack, this is the most dangerous form of pressure. From the Norwegian
skrue, to twist (47). (See Bending, Hummocking, Rafting, Tenting .)
Screwing pack .
Floes in rotary motion due to the influence of wind or other
sources of pressure. The expression is also used for an area of
pack in which differential ice motion of any sort is creating pres–
sure ridges (47).
Sea bar .
See Ice edge .
Sea ice .
Any ice that originated by the freezing of sea water (47).
Sea smoke .
See Frost smoke .
Sem [R].
Used in White Sea area for a lead between ice fields, filled with
broken ice. The ice may be sparse, thick, or compressed; when
sparse a sem (pronounced see-om) may be used by a vessel as a
passage (10).
S e é racs [F].
Irregular ice columns or blocks formed by the splitting up of
glacier ice under tension and aided by melting due to the sun in
an ice fall or near an ice cliff. The name derives from a cheese
which the formations resemble (14; 51a; 57).
Sernik [E].
See Glacier .
Settled snow .
Snow that has settled into a close-lying powdery form; the
“good powder snow” of the skier (40).

EA-I. Glossary

Settling snow .
Snow intermediate between new snow new snow and settled snow settled snow (40).
Shchenki [R].
See Calving .
Shear cracks .
Cracks in glaciers or sea ice caused by differential movement.
The sheared parts undergo a displacement parallel to the plane of
the crack (47).
Sheet ice or Sheets .
Large floes, from acres to square miles in area (New–
foundland term) (33).
Shelf ice ( Barrier, Glace de socle [F], Ice barrier, Schelfeis [G].
Shelf
ice is a descriptive or generic term used in a wide sense for
ice formations with level surface which originate from accumula–
tions of firn layers either upon persistent sea ice or upon the
seaward extension of land glaciers, but now essentially nourished
by annual accumulations of snow. The seaward edge is afloat.
Special features are the great horizontal extents and the vertical
cliffs up to 150 feet in height on the seaward face, with prominent
horizontal banding and clean-cut joint faces from which tabular bergs
periodically break off. It has been suggested by Brian Roberts that
“shelf ice” be used as a descriptive morphological term, also as a
geographical term compounded in place names, and that ice barrier
be restricted to the seaward-facing cliffs of areas of shelf ice
(37a; 41; 47; 67).
Shell ice .
See Cat ice .
Shock crack ( Concussion crack ).
A fissure in an insert floe produced by the
impact of a rapidly moving floe. Such cracks are transverse to
the pressure ridge produced (57).

EA-I. Glossary

Shore clearing .
Space of open water formed near the shore during the melting
of the ice, usually caused by relatively warm thaw water coming
off the land (47). (See Shore lead .)
Shore ice .
Used by some authors as a synonym of fast ice (47). (See Ice foot .)
Shore lead ( Skvoznoi vodianoi zabereg [R]).
A lead between drift ice and
shore, or between drift ice and fast ice, or between fast ice and
shore. The first two types may develop in any season, usually with
offshore winds; the third type occurs only in summer, when the
landward margin of fast ice melts. The outer edge of the fast ice,
and the water just beyond either or both, are called the flaw (47).
(See Shore clearing .)
Shuga [R].
See Sludge .
Sikuijuitsoq [E].
A fjord always full of ice; literally, “one that refuses
to free itself of ice” (47).
Sikuleq [E].
See Iceberg .
Sikussak [E].
Very old ice, which does not drift, i.e., located in fjords
that seldom become clear of ice, as on the north coast of Greenland.
Resembles glacier ice, since it is formed to a great extent by
snowfall and wind-blown snow (47). (See Fast ice, Ice island , Paleocrystic
ice, Shelf ice .)
Silver thaw .
See Ice storm .
Skafl, Skaflar [I] or Skavl, Skavler [N].
A steep snowdrift. This borrowing
from the Scandinavian, suggested by Seligman, would appear, in
effect, to take the place of borrowing zastruga from the Russian.
However, Seligman suggests that both words be borrowed, each with

EA-I. Glossary

an arbitrarily assigned meaning: skaflar or skavler to denote a
sea of large erosion waves over a wide field, and zastruga to
denote individual waves of skavler. The Norwegians have two
other terms related to skavl: hangeskavl, a steep snowdrift
which develops on a slope or on one side of a peak and has a
flat or sloping upper surface with a vertical or concave front;
and vindskavler, which applies to a series of skavler on an
otherwise flat or sloping surface (40; 47; 51).
Sklianka [R].
See Glass ice .
Skvoznoi vodianoi zabereg [R].
See Shore lead .
Sky map ( Cloud map ).
The mirroring of a landscape in a clouded sky. A
white or whitish area beneath is represented by white or lightish
shading above it which is referred to as a blink, for instance
iceblink, snowblink; a dark section is referred to as a sky, for
instance water sky, land sky. A sky map approaches perfection
as the clouds on the overcast day approach uniformity (47). (See
Color sky, Glare .)
Sla c k ice .
See Open ice .
Sleet .
Frozen raindrops according to some authorities, wet snowflakes ac–
cording to others; also called ice pellets (2 1 ; 26).
Slewing .
See Boring .
Slob or Slob ice ( Glace morcel e é e [F], Ledianaia kasha [R], Pulo [R]).

Sludge ice pressed together, forming a compact layer through
which underpowered vessels cannot pass (47). (See Brash .)
Slood .
See Slud .
Slot ice ( Glace stri e é e [F]).
Ice slotted by erosion (47).

EA-I. Glossary

Slud ( Slood ).
Skin of wet snow that freezes on surface of land, ice, or
some object; when on land it is differentiated from glitter by
being more obviously snowlike, less glassy, and usually less con–
tinuous or extensive. From the Scandinavian for slushy snow:
Old Norse and modern Icelandice, sluth ; Danish, slud ; New Nor–
wegian, sludd (6; 47). (See Nast .)
Slud [R].
A form of young sea ice (25).
Sludge or Sludge ice ( Ice sludge, Shuga [R]).
Ice imperfectly formed and
floating on or mixed with a considerable amount of water; the
ice crystals are formed but do not adhere to each other, or do
so only slightly. Sludge may also be formed by snow falling or
drifting into water. In commonest American usage sludge is the
end result of the grinding process which first produced brash ;
slush being reserved for the newly formed crystals making in the
open sea. Another group however believes that when slush is
growing in thickness, sludge is formed. Europeans often use
sludge and slush interchangeably (43; 45; 47; 51).
Sludge cakes .
See Brash cakes .
Sludge floes .
See Brash floes .
Sludge lumps .
Small irregular lumps formed by the freezing of sludge during
strong winds (47).
Slush .
An a a c cumulation of ice crystals which are not, or are only slightly,
frozen together. The slush gives the sea sur f ace a grayish color,
and wind ripples disappear. Slush may be formed by snow falling
on sufficiently cooled water; on land or ice, by rain falling on

EA-I. Glossary

snow, by a thaw of snow, from sleet, or from the accumulation
of frazil ice on surfaces (39; 43; 47). (See Ice fat, Sludge .)
Small hail .
Hail which falls almost exclusively in showers in semitrans–
parent round or conical grains from 0.08 to 0.20 inches in
diameter. There is usually a snow pellet nucleus with a thin
ice layer around it. They are generally wet and fall from broken
shower clouds, which helps to distinguish them from sleet that
usually falls from a solid layers of clouds (53a). (See Hail ,
Hailstone .)
Smoroz [R].
See Ice field, Level ice .
Snezhnitsa [R].
See Snow-water pool .
Snezhura [R].
Ice, the first crust of which has been formed in considerable
part from snow falling or drifting into freezing water (68). (See
Snow ice .)
Snout .
See Terminus .
Snow .
Solid precipitation formed in the atmosphere by sublimation of water
vapor onto minute solid nuclei, but it is now believed that at
temperatures of -39°C. It may form spontaneously. In Eskimo there
is no over-all name for snow. When falling it is kannik ; when
lying on the ground it is apun ; when used to melt into drinking
water or cooking, it is anniu, etc. (39; 47; 48).
Snow, compacted, corn, creeping, fallen, firn, advanced, firn, dry granular ,
firn, new, new, old, penitent, pink, powder, sand, settled, settling ,
spring, telemark, water, wet, wild .
See Compacted snow, Corn snow, etc.

EA-I. Glossary

Snow banner .
A banner-like stream of snow blown into the air from a mountain
peak or ridge and sometimes extending horizontally several miles
across the sky (63; 64).
Snow barchans .
See Barchans .
Snowblink .
See Blink, Sky map .
Snowbound .
Unable to leave a given place, with such means as are available,
because of excessive snow (47).
Snowbreak .
(1) A melting of snow; a thaw. (2) A breaking of trees by snow;
also an area over which there has been such breakage. (3) A pro–
tective bar r ier, as of trees, planted or growing naturally so that
they keep snow from blocking tracks, roads, etc. This last meaning
is similar to that of snow fence, as used to protect highway or
railway from snow on a prairie (63).
Snow cones .
Small cones of snow which, because they are sheltered by stones,
remain after water erosion has lowered the level of the surrounding
snow (39).
Snow cornice .
See Cornice .
Snow cover .
The bed of snow which is superposed on the ground surface. To
fully describe a snow cover, a snow profile is required to indicate
the stratification, temperatures, densities, grain sizes and shapes,
and the hardness of each individual layer of the snow cover (51a).
Snowcrete .
Snow hardened at low temperatures through mechanical compaction
and through time enough for setting (one or several hours). The
tread of an animal compresses new-fallen dry snow the later the
wind sweeps the rest of the snow away, to leave the footprints
standing each on its own slender stalk; the tracks of a sledge,
under similar conditions will emerge looking like the fails on a

EA-I. Glossary

railway track. Some confusion of meaning has arisen through the
occasional application of the term to mechanically compacted mix–
tures of snow with other materials. It should probably not be
extended, either, to include the icelike result of pressure upon
snow at the thaw point (38; 47; 51a ). (See Apun, Compacted snow ,
Icecrete .)
Snow crystal .
A growth of water molecules assuming a symmetrical, crystal–
line form which grows directly from the vapor phase (39).
Snow cushion .
An accumulation of snow on a lee slope deposited in a calm
or under influence of gentle winds or eddies. In the Alps the
name used to be Sch n eeschild, snow shield, now changed there to
Schneesack, snow bag. Snow cushion would appear to describe this
formation better and serve to distinguish it from the ordinary
snowdrift (40).
Snowdrift ( Cong e è re [F], Fann [D], Sugrob [R]).
In Great Britain, Ireland,
etc., any accumulation of snow, usually applied to any deepening
of snow in a flat countryside or elsewhere. In North America,
applied to snow piled by the wind into a ridge that has a long
axis parallel to the direction of the wind that built it up.
Thus, in North America, but not in Britain, the word is about
synonymous with skafl ( skavl ) and zastruga (40; 47).
Snow dust .
Snow borne by the wind in fine particles (63).
Snowflake .
An aggregate of snow crystals and particles. Seligman defines
a snowflake as any “snow in the act of falling” and says that:
“After the snowflake has reached the ground it quickly alters in

EA-I. Glossary

character and to distinguish it from snowflakes on the one hand
and glacier ice on the other I suggest the group name ‘fallen
snow,’” whereupon fallen snow becomes synonymous with the Eskimo
apun (39; 40; 47; 51a). (See Kannik, Snow .)
Snow garland .
Snow festooned from trees or other objects to form a sort
of rope, as much as three feet long and seven inches thick. The
usual explanation is that the snow crystals, being wet, are drawn
to their neighbors by the surface tension of water films (53a).
Snow hardness .
The resistance of a snow mass to penetration. It is a
measure of the strength of the bonding of the constituent snow
particles, generally expressed in pounds per square inch (or in
kilograms per square centimeter), and measured by means of
specially designed penetrometers (51a).
Snow ice .
Ice which has resulted from the metamorphism of snow its firn
or glacier ice. It is a mass of granules, each an individual
crystal, and there is a high air content, the amount diminishing
in the change from firn to glacier ice. Among recent Soviet
writers the Russian equivalent, snezhura, has been used for young
ice, the first crust of which was formed in considerable part by
snow falling or drifting into water (3; 26; 68).
Snow line .
See Climatic snow line, Regional snow line .
Snow peck .
A local Rocky Mountain term designating a field of naturally packed snow
which gives a steady supply of water for purposes like irrigation (53a).
Snow pellet .
See Graupel .
Snow rift .
The development of a crack in a snow slope. This is nearly always
of arched form, developing slowly (40).
Snow roller .
A mass of snow, generally muff-shaped, rolled up by the wind (63).
Snow sky .
See Blink, Glare, Sky map .

EA-I. Glossary

Snowslide .
A downslope snow movement only a few yards in area and a few
inches in depth wh i ch comes to rest soon. It is too small to be
called an avalanche (40).
Snowstorm .
Large numbers of snow crystals or flakes falling in a continuous
stream from the sky and restricting visibility to about a mile.
The usual connotation is that there is some wind, though not
enough to make a blizzard (39; 47). (See Birktok, Blizzard ,
Kannik .)
Snow swamp .
Deep snow that has an excessive amount of water in it, turning
it to a gruel-like state so that animals and men sink in it readily.
This may occur in very deep mountain snow because there is farther
down an impervious ice layer that holds water from draining, or
it may be due to land contours; at sea the snow swamps are most
troublesome to foot travelers, sleds, and dogs when traversing
peleocrystic floes and fields or badly humnocked ice in late
spring (40; 47).
Snow-water pool ( Eau de neige [F], Snezhnitsa [R], Schneewasser [G]).
Formed
by the melting of fresh snow on the surface of sea ice in the
spring. In frosty weather these pools become covered with a thin
layer of ice called naslud (6; 70).
Snow worm .
See Ice worm .
Snow wreath .
A mound or whirl of drifting snow; a snowdrift (63).
Soft hail .
Snowflakes, exceptionally a hailstone, to which supercooled fog
droplets have attached themselves and frozen, called Frostgraupeln
and considered anal a o gous to rime (40). (See Graupel .)

EA-I. Glossary

Soil blister .
See Frost blister .
Solifluction .
According to J. G. Andersson who coined this term, it is
the slow flowing from higher to lower ground of masses of detritus
saturated with water (2b).
Spatial dendrite .
See Dendrite, spatial .
Sphaerokristalle [G].
Single prismatic crystals which have grown until
they have assumed an approximately spherical shape. They appear
to be skin to another sublimation form, Reifgraupeln, and are
referred to in the definitions of precipitation forms in the
International Cloud Atlas, which gives them what Seligman considers
the misleading English name of “granular snow”; he
describes them as being very brittle, shattering if they fall
on a hard surface (40).
Spicule fog ( Confetti ice, Crystal fog, Frost flakes, Ice confetti, Ice-
crystal fog
).
At low temperatures in still air of relatively
high humidity a drop in temperature may bring condensation into
ice crystals. With slight air motion the flakes build up into
ice on the windward side of an obstruction and can build up fast
on speeding planes. It is probable that a coexistence of super
cooled fog or water droplets and ice crystals forms the rime
deposits on the airplanes. Ground observers note the shimmering
particles most easily at certain angles to a low sun when they
appear as silver confetti fluttering down. Horizontal visibility
is interfered with slightly or moderately, while vertically the
interference is negligible (39; 46; 47).

EA-I. Glossary

Splochennyi led [R].
See Close ice .
Sploshnoi led [R].
See Compact ice .
Sporadic permafrost .
Permanently frozen ground occurring as scattered
islands in the area of dominantly unfrozen ground (31). (See
Permafrost islands .)
Spray ice .
Formed by the freezing of spray blown onto structures, rocks,
or ice (40).
Spring crust .
Spring snow after it has resumed the crusted state owing to
the lowering of the temperature. When refreezing hardens the
layers throughout its section, it becomes hard firn snow (40; 64).
(See Corn snow, Water snow .)
Spring powder .
Settled powder snow which has become dampened by high tem–
perature (40).
Spring sludge .
See Rotten ice .
Spring snow .
Firn snow of which the cement holding the grains together has
been thawed so that they fall apart and lie lo o sely like fine
gravel. Also called corn snow (39; 40; 64).
Stagnant glaciers ( Dead glaciers ).
Glaciers or portions of glaciers which
have virtually ceased to flow and, because they no longer have
an area of accumulation, are undergoing net loss of volume each
year (14).
Stamukha [R].
A separate accumulation of ice on sea or coastal shoals. The
main difference from landfast ice is that stamukhi are not attached
to the shore, and are mostly located on sea shoals. They form when
a floe reaches enough thickness to ground on a bank or shoal; in

EA-I. Glossary

the event of pressure, ice is piled up in high accumulations and
remains stationary through the winter, in some cases even for
several years (10).
Staryi led [R].
See Old Ice .
Stationärer gletscher [G].
See Glacier in equilibrium .
Staryi led [R].
See Old Ice .
Stationary glacier .
See Glacier in equilibrium .
Steineis [G].
See Ground ice .
Sticky surface .
This expression has been used to describe snow which sticks
to sledge runners and skis. The degree of stickiness depends on
temperature and the material involved. For instance, snow at
thawing temperature sticks least to smooth metal, like steel
shoeings, and most to unprocessed wood; but the lower the tem–
perature the more likely snow is to stick to a steel shoeing (47).
(See Rimey .)
Stone ice .
See Ground ice .
Storis [D and N].
Literally, The Great Ice, Scandinavian name for the
heavier of the floes that crowd south from the Arctic Sea through
the gap between northeastern Greenland and Spitsbergen. Some of
this ice is of true peleocrystic nature but much of it consists
of ordinary medium and heavy floes. Sometimes , unfortunately, Storis
is used as a synonym for East Ice ( 44; 47). (See Paleocrystic ice .)
Storm ice foot .
An ice foot along the shore produced by the breaking of a
heavy swell or the freezing of wind-driven spray (57).
Strain crack .
A crack that occurs in sea ice under tension (57).
Stranded hummock .
See Pressure ice foot .

EA-I. Glossary

Stranded ice .
Heavy sea or glacier ice which has been stranded in shallow
water (47). (See Grounded ice .)
Stranded ice foot .
Found on shelving beaches and due to stranded floes or to
small bergs which are built upward by breaking swells and spray (57).
Stranded pressure ridge .
A pressure ridge, sometimes in relatively deep water,
which has been heaped up, under the stress of onshore winds and
currents, until the weight of the ice in the ridge which is above
water has become enough to sink the lowest blocks in the ridge to
where they touch the sea bottom. Ridges have been reported aground
in 120 feet, west of Banks Island and elsewhere (47).
Stream ice or Streams ( Strip ice or Strips ).
Ice of any king drifting in
strips that are very long in proportion to width. Under this head
Bruce speaks of various kinds of ice, driven together by wind and
current, which form into streams, miles in length, that lie at
right angles to the wind. Stream joins stream and, in a storm,
may increase into a formidable body of ice (8; 47).
Strip ice or Strips .
See Stream ice .
Subgelisol .
Zone of unfrozen ground below permafrost (9). (See Talik .)
Sublimation .
Process by which snow, ice, and frozen moisture pass from
solid to vapor state, or vice versa, without passing through
liquid condition (48).
Submerged ice foot .
A large mass of ice projecting under water in a horizontal
direction from a glacier, iceberg, or floe (14; 51). (See Ram .)
Subpermafrost water ( Subwater ).
Groundwater in the unfrozen ground beneath
the permafrost (31).
Subpolar glacier .
A glacier which, in its accumulation area, consists of

EA-I. Glossary

firn down to a depth of some 35 to 70 feet. In summer the
temperatures permit surface melting accompanied by the forma–
tion of fluid water (1). (See High-polar glacier, Polar glacier .)
Subsoil ice .
See Ground ice .
Subterranean ice .
See Ground ice .
Subwater .
See Subpermafrost water .
Suffosion complex, Suffosion convex, Suffosion knob .
See Frost mound .
Sugrob [R].
See Snowdrift .
Sun balls .
Sunshine-created bells of snow that roll down a slope. Seligman
says that when the sun strikes a snow slope effectively the sur–
face grains thaw, “become dense and heavy, slide downhill, collect
more snow, and soon hundreds of sun-balls have formed and broken
up the unblemished smoothness of the slope” (40; 47).
Sun crust .
Any snow which has been superficially melted by the sun and re–
frozen into a crust (3; 40).
Sun pillar or streak .
An optical effect produced by the multiple reflection
of sunlight or moonlight from the flat surfaces of hexagonal ice-
crystal plates as they flutter to the earth (39).
Supercooled fog .
Ground fog occurring at temperatures below freezing that
consists of floating droplets of liquid water. This may occur at
temperatures as low as −38.5°C. (39).
Supercooled water .
Bulk water which cools below 0°C. and yet does not greeze.
It has been cooled in the laboratory to −38.5°C. (39).
Superwater .
See Suprapermafrost water .
Supragelisol .
See Suprapermafrost layer .

EA-I. Glossary

Suprapermafrost layer ( Supragelisol, Suprazone ).
Zone above permafrost
including active layer, talik, and pereletok (31).
Suprapermafrost water ( Superwater ).
Water in the ground above the perma–
frost (31).
Suprazone .
See Suprapermafrost layer .
Surface hoar .
Crystals sublimed direct onto the snow surface (40).
Surficial swelling .
Swelling of ground, usually of small magnitude (2 to
4 in.), caused by the freezing of water derived from the at–
mosphere which penetrates to a small depth below the surface (31).
Sweet-water ice .
Ice formed from fresh water of rivers and lakes. This
ice is “so transparent that it is scarcely to be distinguished
from water,” while salt-water ice is, in contrast, milky (36).
S’yom [R].
See Sem .
Szhat h y i led [R].
See Pressure ice .

EA-I. Glossary

Tabetisol .
See Talik .
Tabular iceberg ( Barrier berg, Glace de socle [F], Iceberg tabulaire [F]).

A berg formed from the outer edge of antarctic shelf ice. Flat–
topped bergs seen in the arctic seas and North Atlantic are
sometimes called tabular (47). (See Shelf ice .)
Taele [S].
See Frozen ground .
Talik [R] ( Tabetisol ).
Layer of permanently unfrozen ground between active
layer and permafrost, unfrozen ground within permafrost, or un–
frozen ground beneath the permafrost (31; 48). (See Talik, temporary .)
Talik, island of .
See Island of talik .
Talik, pseudo island of .
See Pseudo island of talik .
Talik, temporary .
A layer of unfrozen ground between the active layer (sea–
sonally frozen ground) and permafrost, whose unfrozen state is due
to an occasio n al warm winter or unusually early snowfall. It usually
disappears with the return of the normal winter regime (31).
Talus ice .
Ice preserved by becoming mixed with or buried under talus. Such
ice “falls near the dividing line set … for ground ice” (26).
Tangential adfreezing strength .
Resistance to force required to shear off
an object which is frozen to some other object or to the ground
and to overcome the friction along the plane of contact (31).
Taran [R].
See Ram .
Tartysh [R].
See Growler .
Taryn [R].
Land icings or “ice fields” which do not melt completely during
the summer (31). (See Icing .)
Telemark snow or curst .
Hard snow or a crust thick enough not to be breakable

EA-I. Glossary

by skiers, but sufficiently softened on top to permit of turns
being executed; an early stage of spring snow (40).
Telescoped ice .
See Rafted ice .
Temperate glacier .
A glacier whose substance consists of ice formed by
rapid recrystallization of the annual surplus of solid precipita–
tion. Throughout these glaciers the temperature corresponds to
the melting point of the ice, except in the wintertime, when the
top layer is frozen to a depth of not more than several feet (1).
Tented ice .
See Rafted ice, Tenting .
Tenting .
An occasionally observed second stage in behavior of ice under
pressure, when a belt or expense of ice has bent upward until it
broke near the top of the curve so that the pieces stand opposite
each other, reminding of an A-tent or the first step in building
a house of cards. A tenting formation is usually temporary, the
“tent” breaking either to crumble into a pressure ridge, or one
side to slip beneath the other, forming rafted ice (47). (See
Bending, Hummocking, Rafting, Screwing .)
Terminal lake .
A body of water, usually static, at the terminus of an ice
tongue (27a).
Terminus .
The lower extremity of a glacier, sometimes called the snout (14).
T e ê te de femme [F].
See Niggerheads .
Thaw cycle .
The process and also the time interval, measured in years,
through which a field or other area of old sea ice first gets
thicker and thicker at practically all points in several years,
and then begins to grow thinner in some parts while it continues

EA-I. Glossary

to thicken in others until one summer the process cuts the area
into numerous very heavy floes which then can start drifting
about independently (47). (See Thaw lake, Thaw river .)
Thaw lake .
The summer melting of sea ice, particularly if far from land
among peleocrystic or other heavy fields, produces lakes which
are at first only a few inches deep but which may get four or
more feet deep toward the end of the season. The greater warming
of liquid water than of ice by a direct sun enables these lakes
not merely to deepen themselves but also to eat away their own
edges or banks so as to grow in area. Thaw lakes may get to be
several acres in size and are often connected by thaw rivers ;
late in summer the network of these lakes and rivers may represent
a quarter or more of the area of a field. Similar lakes may be
formed upon large glaciers, particularly upon the inland ice of
Greenland where they occur in a zone parallel to the nearest coast
and intermediate between the ever-frozen interior and the crevassed
marginal belt that has slopes too steep for the accumulation of
thaw water in any quantity (47)., (See Frozen lakes, Thaw cycle ,
Thaw river .)
Thaw river .
Channel in heavy ice which carries an appreciable current and
which connects one thaw lake with another or with a lead into which
the lake drains (47). (See Thaw cycle .)
Thermal regime .
Heat flow through, into, and out of masses of snow, ice, and
ground in relation to the properties of the masses and of their
environment, particularly atmospheric conditions (3).

EA-I. Glossary

Thermokarst .
Uneven, irregular topography developed by the melting of ground ice.
[: ] It designates a thermal action that produces land forms which are
similar to the sinkholes, funnels, and caverns that are produced in
limestone terrain by the solvent action of water. Thermokarst
derives from the Greek thermo and German Karst (49).
Through glacier .
An ice tongue overlying a rock divide with glacial ice
flowing both ways from the snow divide (27a).
Tiazhelyi led [R].
See Heavy ice .
Tidal or Tidewater glacier .
An ice tongue whose terminus enters the sea (27a).
Tidal platform ice foot .
Produced during the colder months of the year by the
rise and fall of the tide (57). (See Ice foot .)
Tide crack .
The line of junction between an immovable ice foot and fast ice,
the latter being subject to rise and fall of the tide (66).
Tjäle [S].
See Frozen ground .
Tongue .
A projection of the ice edge ice edge which may be several miles bng, caused,
by wind and current. In the 19th century and until recently, it
was a tonguelike projection extending under water in a horizontal
direction from an iceberg or floe. This is now usually termed
submerged ice foot submerged ice foot (27; 35; 51). (See Glacier tongue, Ram .)
Torfhuegel [G].
See Peat mound .
Toros [R], Torosistyi led [R].
See Hummock .
Torsion crack .
A result of screwing and shearing of the pack, producing a
chain of pods or zigzag leads (57).
Trains de glace [F].
See Rafted ice .
Transection glacier .
A glacier that nearly or quite fills a valley system,
overflowing the passes between the valleys (41).

EA-I. Glossary

Trebeis [G].
See Pack .
Tremor .
See Ice tremor .
Treschins [R].
See Crack .
Tributary glacier .
An ice tongue which enters and partly feeds a main glacier
[: ] (27a).
Triple point .
The conditions of temperature and pressure under which certain
substances, including water, may exist simultaneously as a vapor,
liquid, and solid; in the case of water at atmospheric pressure,
this point has a temperature of 0.01°F. (51a)
Trunk glacier .
A main glacial ice steam, generally receiving ice tributaries
(27a).
Umbrella pillars .
See Mushroom pillars .
Unconformity iceberg .
An iceberg in transition, having part blue water-formed
ice and part firn. Often contains many crevasses and silt bands (57).
Underground ice .
See Ground ice .
Ureis [G].
See Ground ice .

EA-I. Glossary

Vaage [D].
See Wake .
Vak [S].
See Wake .
Valley glacier ( Alpine glacier ).
A glacier which occupies the floor of a
valley (14). (See Ice stream, Mountain glacier .)
Vechnaia merzlota [R].
See Permafrost .
V e ê lage [F].
See Calving .
Verg al la s [F].
See Glaze .
Vieille glace [F].
See Palecerystic ice .
Vindskavler [N].
See Skafl .
Vodianoe nebo [R].
See Water sky .
Vodianoi zabereg [R].
See Offshore water .
Vök [E].
See Wake .
Vzlom [R].
See Marginal crushing .

EA-I. Glossary

Wake ( Vaage [D], Vak [S], Vök [I] .
Generally, an open space of water sur–
rounded by ice of any sort; especially, a space in lake or
river ice kept open by a strong current or by a hot spring. In
the days of sail a wake was often an open channel cut in ice,
usually with saws, allowing a ship to pass through, towed or
pushed by man power to avoid pressure or to attain a safer
berth, as in a harbor for wintering. The term is still in
English dialectic use (47).
Wall-sided glacier .
Glaciers of this type form tributaries to major
drainage. They flow down the flanks of valleys along courses
which are not incised in the slope (64).
Warping ( Ice warping ).
Pulling a ship ahead among ice by taking an ice
anchor “ashore” on a floe and then advancing the ship by the
use of ropes and pulleys (4; 47).
Wasserchatten [G.].
See Sky map, Water sky .
Wastage .
See Ablation .
Water, capillary, combined, free, gravity, ground-, confined, intraperma
frost, open, pellicular, supercooled, superpermafrost, supraperma
frost .
See Capillary water, Combined water, etc.
Water of dilation .
Water in excess of water of saturation held by the ground
in an inflated state (water of supersaturation) (31).
Water sky ( Ciel d’eau [F], Vodiance nebo [R], Wasserchatten [G]).
See Sky map .
Water smoke .
See Frost smoke .
Water snow .
Snow which has become granulated so that, for its bulk, it con–
tains more water than ordinary snow. The term is used in connection

EA-I. Glossary

with winter camp cooking; the cook or water provider commonly
finds this snow by digging down through more fluffy, newer snow
which covers it. Sometimes called cooking snow; not quite the
same as anniu (12; 47).
Weathered ice .
See Moutonn e é e .
Weathered iceberg .
Irregular in shape due to an advanced stage of ablation.
They may be overturned bergs (57). (See Horned iceberg .)
Weight crack .
See Hinge crack .
West Ice .
The western and most tightly packed portion of the Baffin Bay Pack ,
the ice that is moving south along the east coast of Baffin Island.
To Norwegians, however, West Ice is the ice off eastern Greenland
(33; 41; 51). (See Middle Pack, North Water .)
Wet snow .
Snow containing liquid water (3). (See Snow swamp .)
Whiteout .
An optical phenomenon occasioned by the presence of air-borne
particles in the form of snow, tiny ice crystals, or supercooled
water droplets, which obscures the sun sufficiently to eliminate
contrast in a snow-covered terrain (39).
Wildschnee [G].
See Wild snow .
Wild snow .
A name suggested by Seligman for snow which has fallen at say
−15°C. and which, in perfectly windless conditions, will lie in
unbelievably loose fashion with just here and there the ends of
the plumes of the flakes touching. Such snow is of great light–
ness, amounting to an almost impalpable fluffiness, and flows off
a shovel like water; it is called neige sauvage or Wildsch n ee by
the Swiss (40).

EA-I. Glossary

Wind crust .
Wind crust is generally found as a very hard snow formation
resulting from wind packing wind packing when no drift and deposition are
taking place. It is commonly firmly anchored to the ground or
to an ice or hard snow surface. It may also occur, like wind
slab, as a crust capable of being broken by the skier’s weight,
but its essential difference from wind slab is that, even if
broken, the breakage is local and the fractures neither spread
nor does the whole area break up into blocks. Wind crust, there–
fore, is normally a safe formation while wind slab is normally
dangerous (40; 64).
Window .
[: ] See Polynia, river .
Window frost .
That form of window hoar window hoar , which is thought of chiefly in
relation to the figures that appear on its surface. The Weather
Glossary of the U.S. Weather Bureau says that “Bentley names
eleven types of window frost, all presenting beautiful forms vary–
ing from those like granules to these resembling tree ferns.” (53a).
Window hoar .
Crystals sublimed onto a cooled glass surface, usually inside
a room when the weather is cold outside. In cold districts, such
as Manitoba, Minnesota, or interior Siberia, when double windows
are not used, the hoar turns partly into ice, which may become a
half inch or more in thickness even if the room is comfortably warm;
but hoar forms on the inside of this ice, except when the room heat
is increased to where thawing starts (40; 47).
Window ice .
Ice that develops within a very thin film of liquid water on
window panes inside warm rooms. This is ordinary ice crystallization;

EA-I. Glossary

later there may develop on this window ice the fernlike and other
figures described under window frost (53a).
Wind packing .
The pounding of snow into dense drifts ( skaflar, zastrugi ) by
wind action. It is this pounding or compaction which makes snow–
drifts suitable for slicing with a knife into blocks for snow–
house construction. The wind-compacted snowdrifts get harder and
denser as they have time for setting (40). (See Wind slab .)
Wind scoops .
The saucer-like or bowl-like hollows in snow around medium–
size objects after a blizzard — around trees, stand-up rocks,
small houses. Seligman says that under “a subsidiary set of
conditions operating in close proximity to obstacles, and there,
either through an acceleration of the wind stream, which may be
due to funnelling … or to the obstruction causing an upward
spiral eddy, snow is carried back into the main air stream and
removed ”(40; 47).
Wind slab .
A snow deposit which has been packed tough, half-hard, or hard
by wind when snowdrift and deposition are taking place. It may lie
above hard snow, soft snow, or the ground (40). (See Wind packing .)
Winter ice ( Godovoi led [R], Odnoletnii led [R], Zimnii led [R]).
Ice frozen
during the last autu m n, winter, or spring and, therefore, not more
than one year old (47).
Working the ice .
A ship is said to work ice when it makes its way with dif–
ficulty through scattered ice of less than field size. In sailing
days this was done by pushing floes aside under press of sail, by
towing the ship behind rowboats, by kedging with ropes fastened to
floes in advance of the ship. Under steam power, working refers to
progress through ice by methods less strenuous than bucking or
breaking (47; 57).

EA-I. Glossary

Young ice ( Jeune glace [F], Molodik [R], Molodoi led [R]).
Newly frozen
level ice approximately 2 to 8 inches thick. At 2 inches sea
ice is wet with brine, and snow falling on it dissolves even in
below zero Fahrenheit temperatures; at 8 inches it is slightly
damp with saturation-point brine. Up to 3 or 4 inches young ice
is neither hard nor tough. A slab of 2-inch freshwater ice will
splinter like glass if dropped on a rock but 2-inch or even 3-inch
sea ice will splash like ice cream. When seen in contrast with
snowy older ice the young ice looks black and is sometimes called
black ice (47). (See Cream ice .)
Yowling .
See Ice yowling .
Zabereg [R].
See Fast ice .
Zeboi [R].
See Ice jam .
Zalivnyi led [R].
See Bay ice .
Zastruga, Za s trugi [R].
Wavelike ridge of snow beaten hard by wind action (63).
Zator [R].
See Ice cliff .
Zero curtain .
A layer of ground between active layer and permafrost where
zero temperature ( 0 °C.) lasts a considerable period of time (as
long as 115 days a year) during the freezing and thawing of over–
lying ground (31).
Zimnii led [R].
See Winter ice .

EA-I. Glossary

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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EA-I. Glossary

26. Leffingwell, Ernest de Koven. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska .
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EA-I. Glossary

40. Seligman, G. Snow Structure and Ski Fields. Being an Account of Snow
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EA-I. Glossary

55. U.S. Army Air Forces. Weather Information Branch. Glossary of Ice Terms
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[Nos. 57, 58 and 59 were prepared for the Hydrographic Office,
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EA-I. Glossary

ADDENDUM TO BIBLIOGRAPHY

71. Bucher, Edwin. “Contributions to the Theoretical Foundation of Avalanche
Defense Construction,” Contributions to Swiss Geology, Geo–
Technical Series, Hydrology, Part 6
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72. de Quervain, M.R. Snow and Ice Problems in Canada and the U.S.A. Tech–
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73. Klein, G.J., Pearce, D.C., and Gold, L.W. Method of Measuring the Sig–
nificant Characteristics of a Snow Cover
. Technical Memorandum
No. 18, Associate Committee of Soil and Snow Mechanics,
National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, 1950.

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