Soils of very cold climates that contain permafrost within 2 meters of the surface.




Patterned Ground, Alaska

West of Prudhoe Bay, polygons are 3-7 meters in diameter.

Freeze/thaw in upper portions of soil along with frost heaving and ice wedge formation create a ridge on the edges of the polygons and a center depression.



Gelisol Landscape - Polygonal Cracks



Gelisol - North Coastal Tundra of Alaska

Permafrost at 38cm (15 inches). Limited
microbial activity leads to significant
accumulations of organic matter




Thermokarst Landscape

Forms when permafrost melts.

Typically occurs after removal of vegetation that removes