Ice in the Strait of Tartary, Russia – March 8th, 2009
The Strait of Tartary is a strait in the Pacific Ocean dividing the Russian island of Sakhalin (right) from southeast mainland Russia (left).
The strait connects the Sea of Okhotsk on the north with the Sea of Japan on the south.
It is 900 km long, 4-20 m deep, and 7.3 km wide at the narrowest point (top).
That narrow point is completely frozen over. The ice is thinner as one moves further south.
In the close-up image, ice can be seen in curved lines off the coast. The swirled patterns occur due to eddy-currents, water which moves in the opposite direction of normal currents. The ice takes on the swirled shape of the currents.