Definitions for ice shelf

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ice shelf

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ice′ shelf`(n.)

  1. an ice sheet projecting into coastal waters so that the end floats.

    Category: Geology

Origin of ice shelf:

1910–15

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shelf ice, ice shelf(noun)

    ice that is attached to land but projects out to sea

Wiktionary

  1. ice shelf(Noun)

    A thick, floating platform of ice that forms where a glacier or ice sheet flows down to a coastline and onto the ocean surface. Ice shelves are found in Antarctica, Greenland, and Canada only.

Freebase

  1. Ice shelf

    An ice shelf is a thick floating platform of ice that forms where a glacier or ice sheet flows down to a coastline and onto the ocean surface. Ice shelves are only found in Antarctica, Greenland and Canada. The boundary between the floating ice shelf and the grounded ice that feeds it is called the grounding line. The thickness of ice shelves ranges from about 100 to 1000 metres. In contrast, sea ice is formed on water, is much thinner, and forms throughout the Arctic Ocean. It also is found in the Southern Ocean around the continent of Antarctica. Ice shelves are principally driven by gravity-driven pressure from the grounded ice That flow continually moves ice from the grounding line to the seaward front of the shelf. The primary mechanism of mass loss from ice shelves was thought to have been iceberg calving, in which a chunk of ice breaks off from the seaward front of the shelf. A study by NASA and university researchers - published in the June 14, 2013 issue of Science - found however that ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves are responsible for most of the continent's ice shelf mass loss. Typically, a shelf front will extend forward for years or decades between major calving events. Snow accumulation on the upper surface and melting from the lower surface are also important to the mass balance of an ice shelf. Ice may also accrete onto the underside of the shelf.

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