Temperature dropping, sea-ice begins to form
- Sea Ice
This is sea-ice in the very early stages of formation.
Sea-ice that forms in situ and is attached to the coast is called
"fast-ice", it is stuck fast. In this picture the surface of the
sea is beginning to freeze as the temperature is dropping to -20°C
and below. Pack ice has come near to the shore and so all movement
of the sea has been killed completely allowing low temperatures
to freeze the sea water.
At this stage the ice is around an inch (2.5cm) thick but it has a spongy texture (a hard sponge though), you could poke a finger or certainly a fist through it relatively easily. The patterned effect comes from the rise and fall of the tides. As the tide rises, so the surface of the sea enlarges slightly and so the ice cracks apart, as the tide falls, so the surface of the sea decreases slightly and so the slabs of ice overlap at the edges.
Photo credit - Paul Ward / coolantarctica.com