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 (pŏl′ən-yä′, pə-lĭn′yə)
An area of open water surrounded by sea ice.

[Russian polyn'ya, from polyĭ, open, hollow; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]


(Physical Geography) a stretch of open water surrounded by ice, esp near the mouths of large rivers, in arctic seas
[C19: from Russian, from poly open, hollowed-out]


(pəˈlɪn yə)

n., pl. -yas.
an area of open sea water surrounded by ice.
[1850–55; < Russian polyn'yá, Old Russian polynĭi=pol(ŭ) empty, open + -ynĭi n. suffix]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.polynya - a stretch of open water surrounded by ice (especially in Arctic seas)
body of water, water - the part of the earth's surface covered with water (such as a river or lake or ocean); "they invaded our territorial waters"; "they were sitting by the water's edge"
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References in periodicals archive ?
There are two different types of polynyas and they mainly differ in how they lose their ice.
COMPASS will develop new technology to deploy a profiling glider into inaccessible environments such as Antarctic polynyas (regions of open water surrounded by sea-ice).
2001) by overwintering in open-water polynyas or loose ice (Richard et al.
Beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, are found throughout the Arctic and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, summering in coastal waters and estuaries and wintering in polynyas or in areas of shifting ice (Reeves et al.
Criscitiello is exploring the relationship between the two phenomena, as well as another factor that may be playing an important role: polynyas.
A few also have been recorded in winter in polynyas within the sea ice off islands in the northern Bering Sea (for example: 23-24 March 2009 off St.
However, water can be cooled in localized areas such as polynyas, where liquid seawater is in contact with cold air (Lock, 1990), or at depth under ice sheets (e.
19) Northern Aboriginal people continue to hunt for beluga and narwhal from boats, canoes and kayaks (20) and at polynyas (21), and of the 56,000 Aboriginal peoples in northern Canada, approximately 91% of households consume "country foods".
Observations of marine birds and mammals wintering at Polynyas and ice edges in the Belcher Islands, Nunavut, Canada.
Fortier was the leader of the multinational, multi-disciplinary "NOW" program to study polynyas (an area of open water in sea ice).