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The English version of our glossary is currently under construction and will be regularly updated.

Ice concentration

The ratio (expressed in tenths) of the ice-covered surface to the overall water surface at a given time and in a discrete area.

The ice concentration is normally presented as a percentage (0 to 1 / 0 to 100%) or sometimes in tenths (0/10 to 10/10). A value of 0 means there is no sea ice, while a value of 100 (or 1 or 10) represents seamless ice cover.

  • compact pack ice, concentration 10/10, no water visible
  • compressed pack ice, concentration 10/10, ice floes have frozen together
  • very dense pack ice, concentration 9/10 to less than 9+/10.
  • dense pack ice, concentration 7/10 to 8/10, floes mostly in contact
  • open pack ice, concentration 4/10 to 6/10, numerous leads and polynyas, ice floes generally not in contact
  • very open pack ice, concentration 1/10 to 3/10.