Floe vs flow

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A floe is a floating sheet of ice. The terms floe and ice floe are interchangeable. A floe may occur as a piece of ice drifting on the sea, in a river, or down a stream melting off a glacier. Floe was first used by Arctic explorers in 1817, from the Norwegian flo meaning layer, slab.

Flow is a verb that means to move steadily in a stream, to circulate, to hang loosely, to show smooth movement. Flow is usually an intransitive verb, which is a verb that doesn’t take an object. Flow may be used as a transitive verb when meaning to flood. Flow is sometimes used as a noun, to denote the fact of moving steadily in a stream, the rate or amount of liquid flowing in a given time, a continuous progression. Liquids, gases and electricity flow. Flow comes from the Old English flowan, meaning to flow, stream, issue, become liquid, melt, abound, overflow.


At each ice station a steep metal brow is lowered from the ship and the crew completes a survey of the floe, outlining a safe work area with bright orange cones. (The Huffington Post)

“We had a nice trip to the floe edge, saw lots of narwhals.” (Nunatsiaq News)

But when a rubber belt connecting the engine to the rotor exploded, the helicopter began to descend into the Arctic waters, leaving the pilot stranded on an ice floe for over 30 hours. (The National Post)

In this project you will use cardboard boxes to represent “buildings” and see how they affect the flow of “wind” blowing from a fan. (Scientific American)

It is leading to lengthy stoppages which affect the flow of the game. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Streaming TV season becomes more of a mainstream flow (The Detroit News)