Pancake Ice in the Sea

Sea ice forms in patterns that depend on local ocean conditions. Pancake ice, like that shown in the above photo from the Antarctic Ross Sea, is formed in rough ocean conditions. Each individual pancake has a raised ridge along its edge, due to wave-induced collisions with other pieces of ice. Over time the smaller pieces of ice will merge together, forming large sheets. Evidence of its turbulent formation will persist, however, in the rough surface of the ice’s underside. For more, check out the National Snow and Ice Data Center. (Image credit: S. Edmonds; via Flow Visualization)

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