Definition of sastrugi in English:


plural noun

  • Parallel wavelike ridges caused by winds on the surface of hard snow, especially in polar regions.

    • ‘It was a hard day of traveling as the sastrugi were jagged and high, and the ground definition was very poor as everything was draped with the newly fallen snow of the last nine days.’
    • ‘The first part of the journey was slow going due to rough sastrugi and moderately strong winds rolling off the Mulock Glacier immediately north of us.’
    • ‘All available knowledge showed that crevasses, sastrugi and blizzards were normal in Antarctica, yet throughout his diaries Scott complained about the conditions.’
    • ‘After we had made it through the rough sastrugi we entered a wide-open flat snow plain, almost perfect conditions for sledge travel.’
    • ‘We skied over the sea ice, bridged the leads and clambered over the sastrugi, and my arrogance and incompetence lost me a finger-end to frostbite.’


Mid 19th century: from Russian zastrugi ‘small ridges’.