from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. (noun) A stretch of open water surrounded by sea ice.
One recent UAV mission in Antarctica examined a polar ocean feature called a polynya, which is an area of open ocean surrounded on all sides by either a coast, sea ice, or both.
The goal was to map water conditions in the Ross Sea 'polynya,' a region of open water surrounded by sea ice, where the plankton blooms every Antarctic summer.
The largest Arctic polynya, North Water, occurs at the head of Baffin Bay, and is like an inland sea surrounded by ice.
'Polynya' comes from the Russian 'polyi,' open, hollow.