Venable Ice Shelf

The flat expanse of the Venable Ice Shelf.  Note the polynya immediately adjacent to the ice shelf at left.  There are hundreds of miles of sea ice beyond, to the north.  The polynya (an area of open water surrounded by ice) is formed by persistent offshore winds, which push the sea ice away from the coast, and provide a nursery for new sea ice to form.  Similar coastal polynyas are common around this portion of Antarctica.

NASA/John Sonntag