Definitions for "Ice Shelf"
The floating terminus of a glacier, typically formed when a terrestrial glacier flow into a deep water basin, such as in Antarctica and the Canadian Arctic. LANDSAT MSS image of a large iceberg separating from the Larsen Ice Shelf. The berg is more than 50 miles long. North-looking photograph showing an iceberg shaped like a dragon, towering ~ 15 feet above the waters of Muir Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.
A sheet of very thick ice with a level or gently undulating surface. It is attached to the land on one side, but most of it is floating. On the seaward side, it is bounded by a steep cliff (ice front) 2 to 50 m or more above sea level. Ice shelves have formed along polar coasts (e.g., Antarctica and Greenland); they are very wide with some extending several hundreds of kilometers toward the sea from the coastline. They increase in size from annual snow accumulation and seaward extension of land glaciers. They decrease in size from warming, melting, and calving.
A broad, flat region of ice along the edge of a continent formed where a continental glacier flowed into the sea.