ice sheet


ice sheet
/ˈaɪs ʃit/ (say 'uys sheet)

noun
1. a broad, thick sheet of ice covering an extensive area for a long period of time.
2. a mass of glacier ice that covers more than 50 000 square kilometres.
Also, icesheet.
The only current ice sheets (def. 2) are in Antarctica and Greenland. The vast and massive Antarctic ice sheet is formed by snowfalls that have been compacted into ice over hundreds of thousands of years. Traces of dust, ash and air bubbles trapped in the ice are a frozen record of past climates; scientists can analyse cores drilled deep into the ice to both build up a picture of past events and to monitor present climate change. In East Antarctica the ice sheet lies on land, and is so thick that it conceals features such as mountains. In West Antarctica the ice sheet reaches down to the sea floor and extends over the sea as ice shelf. Ice is continually being added to the shelf by glaciers flowing onto it on the landside, and on the sea edge, chunks break off as icebergs. The  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, of 2007 recorded that the Antarctic Ice Sheet, as a whole, was contributing to sea level rise at a rate 0.2 mm/yr. The rise in sea level from the Greenland Ice Sheet is averaged since 1993 at 0.35 mm/yr.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ice sheet — ice′ sheet n. 1) geo a thick sheet of ice covering an extensive area for a long time 2) geo a glacier covering a large fraction of a continent …   From formal English to slang

  • ice sheet — ice sheets N COUNT An ice sheet is a large thick area of ice, especially one that exists for a long time …   English dictionary

  • ice sheet — n. a thick layer of ice covering an extensive area for a long period, as in an ice age …   English World dictionary

  • ice sheet — n an ↑ice cap …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ice sheet — ice ,sheet noun count an ICE CAP …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Ice sheet — An ice sheet is a mass of glacier ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50,000 km² (20,000 mile²). [cite web|url=http://gemini.oscs.montana.edu/ geol445/hyperglac/glossary.htm|accessdate=2006 08 22|title=Glossary of Important… …   Wikipedia

  • ice sheet — noun : a glacial ice cover : ice cap the ice sheets on some Greenland promontories especially : one (as a continental glacier) spreading outward over a large land area and concealing all or most surface features the great ice sheets covering much …   Useful english dictionary

  • ice sheet — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms ice sheet : singular ice sheet plural ice sheets an ice cap …   English dictionary

  • ice sheet — 1. a broad, thick sheet of ice covering an extensive area for a long period of time. 2. a glacier covering a large fraction of a continent. [1870 75] * * * …   Universalium

  • ice sheet — noun Date: 1873 ice cap 2 …   New Collegiate Dictionary