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Title: Quantitative data from a patterned ground site over permafrost
Authors: Schmertmann, John H.
Taylor, R. Spence.
Keywords: Soil freezing
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research Report;96
Abstract: Techniques were established by which quantitative data can be obtained from patterned ground features. The field work was carried out during the summers of 1954 and 1955 near Camp Tuto, Greenland. The investigation site is described, and extensive data are presented. The soil materials composing the patterned ground features were found to be of common mineralogy, grain size distribution, and plasticity. The chemical nature of the soils does not contribute to feature formation; it is the mechanical processes acting on these materials that are important. A sharp rise in the soil water content in the form of ice was consistently noted when passing through the base of the active layer into the present permafrost. A net heave occurred at both feature center and border locations, The magnitude of the heave is about 0.05 ft for the centers and 0.03 ft for the borders. Feature age was estimated to be about 150 yr. Vertical sorting occurs over the entire depth of the active layer but radial sorting is confined to the upper 2 ft. Groundwater flow occurs mostly through the feature borders, and incoming radiation has an important effect on the progression of the frost line. The progression of thaw is very rapid and, by the end of summer, the thaw penetration is greatest under the feature centers.
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