The fractionation of major sea-water ions, or deviation in their relative concentrations from Standard Mean Ocean Water ratios, has been frequently observed in sea ice. It is generally thought to be associated with precipitation of solid salts at certain eutectic temperatures. the variability found in bulk sea-ice samples indicates that the fractionation of ions depends on the often unknown thermal history of sea ice, which affects the structure of pore networks and fate of solid salts within them. Here we investigate the distribution of ions in Arctic sea ice that is a few weeks old with a reconstructible thermal history. We separate the centrifugable (interconnected) and entrapped (likely disconnected) contributions to the ice salinity and determine their ion fractionation signatures. the results indicate that differential diffusion of ions, rather than eutectic precipitation of cryohydrates, has led to significant ion fractionation. the finding emphasizes the role of coupled diffusive–convective salt transport through complex pore networks in shaping the biogeochemistry of sea ice.