Cryogenic patterned ground

Authored by: Stuart A. Harris , Anatoli Brouchkov , Cheng Guodong


Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138054165
eBook ISBN: 9781315166988
Adobe ISBN:


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As used here, cryogenic patterned ground refers to the arrangement of stones or disturbances in the vegetation cover producing distinctive patterns resulting from convection cells in the active layer or seasonally frozen ground due to freezing and thawing. A typical example is shown in Figure 10.1. The term, patterned ground is descriptive, and has also previously been applied to patterns generated by wetting and drying (Hallsworth et al., 1955; Harris, 1958; Hunt & Washburn, 1966), erosion during rainstorms (Kelletat, 1985), as well as patchy distribution of vegetation. It is therefore a name of convenience, acting as an umbrella for a variety of different features produced by several different processes. Accordingly, the term must have the adjective, cryogenic, to adequately describe the subject matter of this chapter.

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