shore lead

The journals kept by explorers in the polar regions are thick with tales of sought-after passages through the frozen landscape. It makes sense then that these passages, or leads, have a taxonomy of their own. Hence the term shore lead as a type of lead, like an open lead (any very wide crack in pack ice) or a flaw lead (the variable strip of open water between landfast ice and mobile pack ice). Shore leads occur when a stretch of open water forms between landfast ice and the shore or between the mobile pack and shore. Shore leads are most often created by offshore winds, often aided by tidal currents. They may be narrow enough to leap over or several miles wide.

Gretchen Legler