A Walk Along the Ice Foot
- Sea Ice
The ice foot is a shelf of ice attached to the land that forms when the tides rise and fall in very low temperatures. A thin layer of water is left behind which ends up smoothing the transition between land and sea. The large slabs of ice in the bottom right of the picture were attached to the land, but are now breaking away, but are currently held in place by rocks that come near to the surface.
When the sea-ice breaks out coasts have a shelf all around them which can give a nice smooth walking surface, snow permitting of course. The only problem is that you have to follow the line of the coast to get anywhere - or go the more direct but more rugged route.
Note the yellow/green colouration to the bottom of the broken ice pieces, this is a result of phytoplankton that grow under the ice during the winter months, this algae is frequently grazed on by juvenile and overwintering krill.
Photo credit - Paul Ward / coolantarctica.com