Action Adventure Toura in Antarctica and the North Pole

Photo of North Pole Ice Leads, Cracks in the Arctic Ice.

This is the American Arctic Expedition team standing on the actual north pole
Big cracks in the ice of the Polar Ice Cap are called "Leads."  As the years move on the number of ice leads have been increasing on the North Pole making travel much more difficult.  This is a result of Global Warming. The photo on this page is a small ice lead that is starting to freeze over.

As a visitor on the north pole adventure, you get to travel in a Russian military Mi-8 helicopter from the base camp to the actual north pole and to several surface features in the area.  

The arctic ocean is covered by a polar ice cap about two meters thick.  This isn't very thick considering the size of the ice pack.  The arctic ocean currents vary from side to side and so do the winds, leading up to differential pressures that make cracks, leads, in the ice.  The picture below is of one of these leads, cracks.   One of the additional causes of  Leads in the ice is that the ice, and the structure of the underside of the ice, has a varying buoyancy due different to salt concentrations in the water near the lead generating coherent structures such as longitudinal rolls which form cracks in the ice in a long section.  The varying buoyancy pushes up on the ice making the initial cracking at the surface.  You can find more about arctic ice by using the following search words arctic ocean, artic ocean, cracks in the ice, ice cracks, arctic ice, polar cap, leads, arctic leads.

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North Pole leads - or cracks in the in the North pole Ice Pack as seen from a Russian Mi-8 Helicopter As the ice shifts from wind or arctic ocean currents, cracks are formed. These cracks are called ice leads and they will usually freeze over in about eight hours and be able to cross in about twelve hours.  From the air I have seen these ice leads extend as far as you can see in either direction.  Where and what stops the end of the leads, I don't know. 
north pole leads, or cracks, in the ice pack as seen from a Russian Mi-8 helicopter


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