The travel‐time effects of a sea ice cover on an acoustic pulse are estimated using generalized ray theory. This expands upon the previous work done by Jin and Wadhams [Prog. Oceanogr. 22, 249–275 (1989)] by including the effects of frequency dispersion and different sets of ice parameters. Travel‐time changes due to single reflections are approximated by plane wave reflection theory, and compared to the generalized ray theory results. Statistical effects for multiple reflections, such as the ice thickness probability distribution function, Fresnel zone averaging, and shadowing are considered. Finally, the effects of ice‐induced travel‐time changes on tomographic inversions for water column oceanography are considered. The implications of this work on the 1988–89 Greenland Sea tomography experiment are considered in detail.
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