A detailed profile of the ice fabric, the deuterium content and the sodium concentration of a 1.64 m long, first-year sea-ice core from Breid Bay, near Syowa station (Antarctica), is described. The core consists mainly of frazil ice (77%), a common feature observed in recent extended studies of the first-year sea-ice cover in the Weddell Sea area. Neither snow ice, nor platelet ice is present. The remainder of the core consists of congelation ice. The typical substructure of ice plates/brine lamellae occurs only at the bottom of the core. Otherwise fine-grained congelation ice is ‘sandwiched’ between layers of frazil. It lacks the intracrystalline substructure but shows a strong textural elongation and c-axis clustering in the horizontal plane. The evolution processes of the first-year sea-ice cover in Breid Bay are analysed. The dynamical component, demonstrated to play a major role in the eastern Weddell Sea, seems to be of minor importance in this area, where thermodynamics satisfactorily explains the isotopic, chemical and textural characteristics of the core. It is proposed that the topmost part of the core consists of frazil ice produced by wind- and wave-induced turbulence. Once a consolidated ice cover is provided, the growth proceeds at a slower rate, through congelation ice formation and frazil ice production, initiated by thermohaline convection processes in the water column. The lower alternate layers of fine grained congelation ice and frazil ice could result from cyclic thermal and salinity regimes at the ice-water interface, connected with the major meteorological events of the year.