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

cryotic ground

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


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


(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.


like cumulus; generally descriptive of all clouds; vertical development in the form of rising mounds, domes or towers; driven by thermal convection and have vertical velocities greater than 1 meter (3.3 feet) per second.


a principal cloud type (cloud genus) of vertical development, exceptionally dense and vertically developed clouds, occurring either as isolated clouds or as a line or wall of clouds with separated upper portions; these clouds appear as mountains or huge towers, at least a part of the upper portions of which are usually smooth, fibrous, or striated, and almost flattened; this part often spreads out in the form of an anvil (incus) or vast plume; under the base of cumulonimbus, which is very dark, there frequently exist virga, precipitation, and low, ragged clouds, either merged with it or not; its precipitation is often heavy and always of a showery nature.


a principal low-level cloud type (cloud genus) in the form of individual, detached elements which are generally dense and possess sharp non-fibrous outlines; these elements develop vertically, appearing as rising mounds, domes, or towers, the upper parts of which often resembles a cauliflower; the sunlit parts of these clouds are mostly brilliant white; their bases are relatively dark and nearly horizontal; near the horizon the vertical development of cumulus often causes the individual clouds to appear merged; if precipitation occurs, it is usually of a showery nature.


process of initiation or intensification of a cyclonic circulation in the atmosphere; the opposite to cyclolysis.


process of weakening or terminating of a cyclonic circulation in the atmosphere; the opposite of cyclogenesis.


area in the atmosphere in which the pressures are lower than those of the surrounding region at the same level; it is represented on a synoptic chart by a system of isobars at a specified altitude level (or a system of contours at a specified pressure level) which enclose relatively low values of pressure (or altitude); a cyclone begins when a wave (young) cyclone forms and moves along a front; a mature cyclone has well-developed warm sectors and both cold and warm fronts; an occluded cyclone is that within which there has developed an occluded front.

cyclone ciruculation

atmospheric circulation associated with a cyclone (depression, low pressure area); it is counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

cyclone movement

the spatial displacement of a center of low pressure caused by the local redistribution of mass in the atmosphere; the trajectory of the center is often altered by heating or cooling on the air column, which can result from thermal fluxes at the surface or latent heat transformations associated with cloud formation and precipitation; these processes change the temperature distribution in the air column, resulting in density changes which modify the surface pressures.