frozen ground or permafrost


the ability of a material to change its shape or size under the influence of an external or internal agency, such as stress, temperature, or pore pressure.

debris flow

a sudden and destructive variety of landslide, in which loose material on a slope, with more than 50% of particles larger than sand size, is mobilized by saturation and flows down a channel or canyon.


(1) (singular) a collective term used to describe all soil movements due to frost action (2) (plural) irregular structures formed in earth materials by deep frost penetration and frost action processes, and characterized by folded, broken and dislocated beds and lenses of unconsolidated deposits, included organic horizons and even bedrock.


a body of earth material moved or disturbed by frost action.

cryotic ground

soil or rock at temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius or lower.


the textural characteristics of frozen, fine-grained organic and mineral earth materials cemented together with ice.


a suction developed in freezing or partially frozen fine-grained materials as a result of temperature-dependent differences in unfrozen water content.


the structural characteristics of frozen earth materials.


soil formed in either mineral or organic materials having permafrost either within 1 meter (3.3 feet) below the surface or, if the soil is strongly cryoturbated, within 2 meters (6.6 feet) below the surface, and having a mean annual ground temperature below 0 degrees Celsius.

cryoplanation terrace

a step-like or table-like bench cut in bedrock in cold climate regions.


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