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

Pancake ice

Small, round ice floes that resemble pancakes.

Predominantly round pieces of ice (diameter of 30 cm to 3 m and up to 10 cm thick) with raised edges that are formed by collisions between smaller pieces. At low temperatures, at the beginning of the freezing phase, a layer of grease ice forms on the water’s surface: a thin and cloudy layer of loosely connected ice crystals that in some cases lack true cohesion. Waves produced by wind cause the slushy ice to collide and become denser. As a result, small, round ice floes resembling pancakes form on the surface. When they collide, it produces their characteristic raised edges and pancake-like form. Sometimes also forms in the water column, at the interface between two physically different bodies of water, before rising to the surface. Pancake ice can rapidly cover large expanses of water.