Would it be correct to use the term ice-jam, meaning ice formations in the water, in British English?


Yes, it is an expression you can use:

Ice jam, also called ice dam (ice formation):,

  • an accumulation of ice forming where the slope of a river changes from steeper to milder or where moving ice meets an intact ice cover—as in a large pool, at the point of outflow into a lake, or on the edge of a glacier or ice sheet.
  • Ice jams can lead to localized and regional flooding in the area behind the blockage, and the sudden failure of an ice jam can release large quantities of water and ice that may cause damage to nearby structures, croplands, and wildlife habitat downstream.

  • The phenomenon is commonly associated with blockages of ice that prevent the late winter or early spring drainage of rain and melting snows in colder regions or with the breakup of glaciers and ice sheets. There is ample evidence linking vast prehistoric ice jams to megafloods that shaped landforms seen today


The origin comes form the term jam meaning:

  • "a tight pressing between two surfaces," 1806. (etymonline)

According to Ngram the expression dates back to the second half of the 19th century.

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