Formation and Types of Natural Ice Masses

  • Ryszard StaroszczykEmail author
Part of the GeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences book series (GEPS)


The processes of formation of natural ice masses on Earth are described and characteristics of the most common types of ice on our planet are presented. First, mechanisms involved in the formation of sea ice from water are discussed, with a focus on the influence of environmental conditions prevailing during the development of ice on its structure and mechanical properties. Then, mechanisms that are involved in the transformation of snow into glacier ice in Antarctica and Greenland are described, and the processes which continuously change ice properties as ice particles move through a polar ice sheet from its surface to depth over geophysical time scales are outlined. Some aspects of the formation and evolution of macroscopic anisotropy of ice are also briefly discussed (more details on these topics are provided in Chapter 6 of the book). The chapter is concluded with a short presentation of the most important features of polar ice shelves and icebergs.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Hydro-EngineeringPolish Academy of SciencesGdańskPoland

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