The Pressure Ridges

Pressure Ridge:
A comparatively rectilinear conglomeration of ice fragments formed by pressure at the contact line between icefloes, usually along earlier existing cracks and leads or at the boundary between ice floes of different age. In this case, isostatically unbalanced hummocks usually form on the older ice surface. Ice ridges can also form as a result of direct fracturing of ice fields of thick and even first-year and multiyear ice at very strong pressures. The underwater portion of a ridge is termed an ice keel.

For the last two seasons down here I’ve volunteered to take groups out on the sea ice pressure ridges in front of the New Zealand research station, Scott Base.  I went out about once a week for month and it is incredible to see the slow, yet rapid, changes that occur as the days get longer and the temperatures higher.

November 12th

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November 24th

P1070777 P1070858 P1070818 P1070783 P1070778

December 4th

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December 8th

P1080255 P1080328 P1080325 P1080317 P1080314 P1080305 P1080304 P1080291 P1080290 P1080285 P1080279 P1080270 P1080266 P1080265 P1080260 P1080258 P1080256

December 18th

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