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Distributed for University of Alaska Press

On Sea Ice

Covering more than seven percent of the earth’s surface, sea ice is crucial to the functioning of the biosphere—and is a key component in our attempts to understand and combat climate change. With On Sea Ice, geophysicist W. F. Weeks delivers a natural history of sea ice, a fully comprehensive and up-to-date account of our knowledge of its creation, change, and function.

The volume begins with the earliest recorded observations of sea ice, from 350 BC, but the majority of its information is drawn from the period after 1950, when detailed study of sea ice became widespread. Weeks delves into both micro-level characteristics—internal structure, component properties, and phase relations—and the macro-level nature of sea ice, such as salinity, growth, and decay. He also explains the mechanics of ice pack drift and the recently observed changes in ice extent and thickness.

An unparalleled account of a natural phenomenon that will be of increasing importance as the earth’s temperature rises, On Sea Ice will unquestionably be the standard for years to come.

664 pages | 354 graphs and figures | 7 x 10 | © 2010

Earth Sciences: General Earth Sciences

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"On Sea Ice is a long-awaited book by the greatest living master of the art of sea ice research, and it satisfies all the expectations of those who have been waiting patiently for the last decade. . . . The book is literally the last word on the subject because, given the explosion of research effort in the past few years, the science of sea ice is now going beyond the capacity of one person to fully understand and summarize."—Oceanography


“Comprehensive. . . wise in identify the weaknesses in the structure of sea ice physics theory and proposing ways forward to solve them. . . . Any young scientist reading Weeks’ book will find potential PhD topics laid out in every chapter.” 

Journal of Polar Record

Table of Contents


About This Book


Figure Sources

1.    Introduction

2.    Historical Background

3.    The Ocean Setting

4.    An Introduction to Sea Ice Growth

5.    Components

6.    The Phase Diagram

7.    Sea Ice Structure

8.    Sea Ice Salinity

9.    Sea Ice Growth: The Details

10.  Properties

11.  Polynyas and Leads

12.  Deformation

13.  Sea Ice–Seafloor Interactions

14.  Marginal Ice Zone

15.  Snow

16.  Ice Dynamics by W. D. Hibler III (with W. F. Weeks)
17.  Underwater Ice

18.  Trends

19.  Conclusions

Appendix A. Symbols

Appendix B. Acronyms and Abbreviations

Appendix C. Terminology and Glossary

Appendix D. Sampling

Appendix E. Thin Sections

Appendix F. Remote Sensing



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