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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

ice shelf

noun
1.
an ice sheet projecting into coastal waters so that the end floats.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ice shelf
  • The melting of an ice shelf, which is merely a floating projection into the sea, would not affect sea levels.
  • They were to see for themselves the melting ice shelf and enjoy what remains of the spectacular views.
  • The only thing in this article that is likely true, is the ice shelf breaking off.
  • Explain that an ice shelf is a permanent, floating piece of ice that is attached to land.
  • The ice flows into a relatively small but thick ice shelf.
British Dictionary definitions for ice shelf

ice shelf

noun
1.
a thick mass of ice that is permanently attached to the land but projects into and floats on the sea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for ice shelf

thick mass of floating ice that is attached to land, formed from and fed by tongues of glaciers extending outward from the land into sheltered waters. Where there are no strong currents, the ice becomes partly grounded on the sea bottom and attaches itself to rocks and islands. The shelf is pushed forward by glacial pressure until its forward growth is terminated by sea currents. Built up by accretions of snowfall, it remains relatively stable for millions of years. It is a phenomenon presently found only in Antarctica, where the largest ice barrier, the Ross Ice Shelf, extending into the Ross Sea, is about the size of France. Ice shelves are thought to have been responsible for the formation of many fjords in Scandinavia and elsewhere during the Pleistocene Epoch.

Learn more about ice shelf with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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5
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