John Wiley & Sons The Periglacial Environment Cover The Periglacial Environment, Fourth Edition, is an authoritative overview of the world's cold, non-g.. Product #: 978-1-119-13278-3 Regular price: $72.80 $72.80 In Stock

The Periglacial Environment

French, Hugh M.

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4. Edition December 2017
544 Pages, Softcover
Practical Approach Book

ISBN: 978-1-119-13278-3
John Wiley & Sons

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The Periglacial Environment, Fourth Edition, is an authoritative overview of the world's cold, non-glacial environments. First published in 1976 and subsequently revised in 1996 and 2007, the text has been the international standard for nearly 40 years.

The Fourth Edition continues to be a personal interpretation of the frost-induced conditions, geomorphic processes and landforms that characterize periglacial environments. Part One discusses the periglacial concept and describes the typical climates and ecosystems that are involved. Part Two describes the geocryology (permafrost science) associated with frozen ground. Part Three outlines the weathering and geomorphic processes associated with cold-climate conditions. Part Four provides insight into the periglacial environments of the Quaternary, especially the Late Pleistocene. Part Five describes some of the problems associated with human occupancy in regions that experience frozen ground and cold-climate conditions.
* Extensively revised and updated
* Written by an expert with over 50 years of field research
* Draws upon the author's personal experience from Northern Canada, Alaska, Siberia, Tibet, Antarctica, Svalbard, Scandinavia, southern South America, Western Europe and eastern North America

This book is an invaluable reference for advanced undergraduates in geography, geology, earth sciences and environmental sciences programs, and to resource managers and geotechnical engineers interested in cold regions.

Preface to Fourth Edition xv

Preface to Third Edition xvii

Preface to Second Edition xix

Preface to First Edition xxi

Acknowledgments xxiii

Part I The Periglacial Domain 1

1 Introduction 3

1.1 The Periglacial Concept 3

1.2 Diagnostic Criteria 4

1.3 Periglacial Environments 5

1.4 The Periglacial Domain 6

1.5 The Periglacial Domain and the Cryosphere 9

1.6 Disciplinary Considerations 10

1.6.1 The Growth of Geocryology 10

1.6.2 The Challenge of Quaternary Science 11

1.6.3 Periglacial Geomorphology or Cold-Region Geomorphology? 12

1.7 Societal Considerations 12

1.8 The Growth of Periglacial Knowledge 13

2 Periglacial Climates 17

2.1 Boundary Conditions 17

2.2 Cold Deserts 17

2.3 Regional Climates 19

2.3.1 High Arctic Climates 22

2.3.2 Continental Climates 24

2.3.3 Alpine Climates 24

2.3.4 Montane Climates 25

2.3.5 Climates of Low Annual Temperature Range 25

2.3.6 Antarctica: A Special Case 26

2.4 Snow and Ice 26

2.5 Wind 28

2.6 Ground Climates 28

2.6.1 The 'n'-Factor 28

2.6.2 TheThermal Offset 29

2.6.3 The Ground Temperature Regime 31

2.7 Periglacial Climates and Global Climate Change 35

2.7.1 Basic Facts 37

2.7.2 Why Climate-Cryosphere Interactions Accelerate ClimateWarming 38

3 Periglacial Ecosystems 41

3.1 General Statement 41

3.2 Biogeographic Zonation and Major Vegetation Types 41

3.3 Adaptations to Cold, Snow,Wind and Aridity 44

3.4 The Effect of Vegetation 44

3.5 The Polar Deserts 47

3.5.1 High Polar Deserts 47

3.5.2 The Polar Semi-Deserts 47

3.6 The Polar Desert-Tundra Transition 49

3.7 The Low-Arctic Tundra 49

3.8 The Forest-Tundra Bioclimatic Boundary (The Tree Line) 53

3.9 The Boreal Forest 56

3.10 The Alpine and Montane Ecosystems 58

3.11 Antarctica - A Special Case 60

3.12 Periglacial Ecosystems and Climate Change 61

Part II Frozen Ground and Permafrost 63

4 Ground Freezing, Permafrost and the Active Layer 65

4.1 Introduction 65

4.2 Ground Freezing 65

4.2.1 Basic Concepts 65

4.2.2 Ice Segregation 67

4.2.3 'The Frozen Fringe' 69

4.2.4 Frost Heave 69

4.3 Perennially-Frozen Ground (Permafrost) 70

4.4 Moisture and IceWithin Permafrost 72

4.5 Thermal and Physical Properties 73

4.5.1 The Geothermal Regime 73

4.5.2 The TTOP Model 76

4.5.3 Physical Properties 77

4.5.4 Thermal Properties 78

4.6 Permafrost Hydrology 78

4.6.1 Aquifers 79

4.6.2 Hydrochemistry 80

4.6.3 Groundwater Icings 81

4.7 The Active Layer 82

4.7.1 Terminology 82

4.7.2 The Active-LayerThermal Regime 83

4.7.3 The Transient Layer 83

4.7.4 The Stefan Equation 84

5 Permafrost Distribution and Stability 87

5.1 Introduction 87

5.2 Controls over Permafrost Distribution 87

5.2.1 Relief and Aspect 87

5.2.2 Rock Type 88

5.2.3 Vegetation 90

5.2.4 Snow Cover 90

5.2.5 Fire 92

5.2.6 Lakes and SurfaceWater Bodies 92

5.3 Spatial Extent of Permafrost and Frozen Ground 93

5.3.1 Latitudinal Permafrost 93

5.3.2 Alpine (Mountain) Permafrost 95

5.3.3 Montane Permafrost 98

5.3.4 Seasonally-Frozen Ground 100

5.4 Sub-Sea and Relict Permafrost 101

5.4.1 Sub-Sea Permafrost 101

5.4.2 Relict (Terrestrial) Permafrost 101

5.5 Permafrost and Ecosystems 102

5.6 Permafrost Monitoring and Mapping 104

5.6.1 CALM and GTN-P (TSP) 104

5.6.2 BTS and Mountain Permafrost Probability Mapping 106

5.7 ClimateWarming and Permafrost 106

5.7.1 Evidence forWarming Permafrost 107

5.7.2 Evidence for Thawing Permafrost 109

6 Ground Ice and Cryostratigraphy 111

6.1 Introduction 111

6.2 Quantitative Parameters 111

6.3 Epigenetic, Syngenetic and Polygenetic Permafrost 112

6.4 Classification 113

6.4.1 The Russian Approach 113

6.4.2 The North American Approach 114

6.5 Main Ground Ice Types 115

6.5.1 Pore Ice 115

6.5.2 Segregated Ice 116

6.5.3 Intrusive Ice 117

6.5.4 Vein Ice 118

6.5.5 Other Types of Ice 118

6.6 Ice Distribution 118

6.6.1 Amounts 118

6.6.2 Distribution with Depth 120

6.6.3 Ice in Bedrock 120

6.6.4 Ice in Poorly-Lithified Sediments 121

6.7 Cryostratigraphy and Cryolithology 124

6.7.1 Cryostructural Analysis 125

6.7.2 Cryostructures of Epigenetic and Syngenetic Permafrost 128

6.7.3 Thaw Unconformities 129

6.7.4 Aggradational Ice 131

6.7.5 Icy Bodies and Ice, Sand and Soil Pseudomorphs 131

6.8 Ice Crystallography 132

6.9 Ice Geochemistry 133

6.10 Massive Ice and Massive-Icy Bodies 133

6.10.1 Nature and Extent 134

6.10.2 Intra-Sedimental Ice 135

6.10.3 Buried Glacier Ice 136

6.11 Cryostratigraphy and Past Environments 136

7 Aggradational Permafrost Landforms 139

7.1 Introduction 139

7.2 How Does Permafrost Aggrade? 139

7.2.1 The Illisarvik Drained-Lake Experiment 139

7.3 Thermal-Contraction-Crack Polygons 141

7.3.1 Coefficients ofThermal Expansion and Contraction 141

7.3.2 Ice, Sand and Soil ('Ground')Wedges 144

7.3.3 Development of the Polygon Net 144

7.3.4 Polygon Morphology 145

7.3.5 Controls over Cracking 147

7.3.6 Climatic Significance 150

7.4 Ice and SandWedges 151

7.4.1 EpigeneticWedges 154

7.4.2 SyngeneticWedges 154

7.4.3 Anti-SyngeneticWedges 156

7.4.4 Growth and Deformation ofWedges 156

7.5 Organic Terrain 156

7.5.1 Palsas 157

7.5.2 Peat Plateaus 158

7.6 Frost Mounds 158

7.6.1 Perennial-FrostMounds 158

7.6.2 Hydraulic (Open) System Pingos 159

7.6.3 Hydrostatic (Closed) System Pingos 161

7.6.4 Other Perennial-FrostMounds 165

7.6.5 Seasonal-Frost Mounds 165

7.6.6 Hydrolaccoliths and Other Frost-Induced Mounds 165

8 Thermokarst Processes and Landforms 169

8.1 Introduction 169

8.2 Thawing Ground 169

8.2.1 Thaw Strain andThaw Settlement 169

8.2.2 Potential Depths of Soil Freezing andThawing 170

8.2.3 The Development of Thermokarst 170

8.3 Causes ofThermokarst 171

8.3.1 General Comments 172

8.3.2 Specific Causes 174

8.4 Thaw-Related Processes 176

8.4.1 Thermokarst Subsidence (Thaw Settlement) 176

8.4.2 Thermal Erosion 176

8.4.3 Other Processes 176

8.5 Thermokarst Sediments and Structures 177

8.5.1 Involuted Sediments 177

8.5.2 Retrogressive-Thaw-Slumps and Debris-Flow Deposits 178

8.5.3 Ice-Wedge Pseudomorphs and Composite-Wedge Casts 179

8.5.4 Ice, Silt, Sand and Gravel Pseudomorphs 180

8.6 Thermokarst Landscapes 181

8.6.1 The Alas-Thermokarst Relief of Central Yakutia 182

8.6.2 TheWestern North American Arctic 185

8.6.3 The Ice-Fee Areas of Continental Antarctica 185

8.7 Ice-Wedge Thermokarst Relief 186

8.7.1 Low-Centred Polygons 186

8.7.2 High-Centred Polygons 186

8.7.3 BadlandThermokarst Relief 186

8.8 Thaw Lakes and Depressions 187

8.8.1 Lakes and Táliks 189

8.8.2 Morphology 189

8.8.3 Growth and Drainage 189

8.8.4 OrientedThaw Lakes 191

Part III Periglacial Geomorphology 193

9 Cold-ClimateWeathering 195

9.1 Introduction 195

9.2 GeneralWeathering Facts 195

9.3 Freezing and Thawing Indices 196

9.4 Rock (Frost?) Shattering 197

9.4.1 Frost Action and Ice Segregation 197

9.4.2 Insolation and Thermal Shock 200

9.4.3 Perspective 202

9.5 ChemicalWeathering 204

9.5.1 Karkevagge 204

9.5.2 Solution and Karstification 205

9.5.3 SaltWeathering 208

9.6 CryogenicWeathering 208

9.6.1 Cryogenic Disintegration 210

9.6.2 The Coefficient of Cryogenic Contrast 210

9.6.3 Physico-Chemical Changes 212

9.6.4 Problematic Phenomena 212

9.7 CryobiologicalWeathering 213

9.8 Rates of Cold-Climate BedrockWeathering 214

9.9 Cryosols and Cryopedology 215

9.9.1 Cryosols 215

9.9.2 Classification 216

9.9.3 Cryosolic Micromorphology 216

10 Mass-Wasting Processes and Active-Layer Phenomena 219

10.1 Introduction 219

10.2 Slow Mass-Wasting Processes 219

10.2.1 Solifluction 219

10.2.2 Frost Creep 221

10.2.3 Gelifluction 223

10.2.4 Solifluction Deposits and Phenomena 223

10.3 Rapid Mass-Wasting Processes 226

10.3.1 Active-Layer-Detachment Slides 226

10.3.2 Debris Flows, Slush Flows and Avalanches 226

10.3.3 Rockfall 230

10.4 Snow Hydrology and Slopewash Processes 232

10.4.1 Snow Hydrology and Snowbanks 233

10.4.2 Surface and SubsurfaceWash 233

10.5 Active-Layer Phenomena 235

10.5.1 Frost Heaving 235

10.5.2 Bedrock Heave 235

10.5.3 Upward Heaving of Stones and Objects 235

10.5.4 Stone Tilting 237

10.5.5 Needle Ice 239

10.5.6 Frost Sorting 239

10.5.7 Cryoturbation 240

10.6 Patterned Ground 240

10.6.1 Sorted and Non-Sorted Circles 240

10.6.2 Mud Boils 243

10.6.3 Nets and Stripes 246

11 Azonal Processes and Landforms 247

11.1 Introduction 247

11.2 Fluvial Processes and Landforms 247

11.2.1 Major Rivers 248

11.2.2 Freeze-Up and Break-Up 251

11.2.3 Basin Hydrology 252

11.2.4 Sediment Flow, Surface Transport and Denudation 255

11.2.5 Channel Morphology 256

11.3 Lakes and Lake Ice 259

11.3.1 Lake Ice and Climate Change 259

11.3.2 Perennially-Frozen Lakes 260

11.4 Coastal Processes and Landforms 260

11.4.1 Sea Ice 260

11.4.2 Sea Ice,Wave Generation and Sediment Transport 261

11.4.3 Ice on the Beach and the Near-Shore 262

11.4.4 The Influence of Permafrost 264

11.4.5 Cold-Climate Deltas 266

11.5 Aeolian Processes, Sediments and Landforms 267

11.5.1 Wind Abrasion 268

11.5.2 Wind Deflation 271

11.5.3 Sand Dunes and Sand Sheets 271

11.5.4 Niveo-Aeolian Sediments 273

11.5.5 Loess-Like Silt 274

12 Slope Development and Landscape Evolution 275

12.1 Introduction 275

12.2 Slope Morphology 275

12.2.1 The Free-Face Slope 275

12.2.2 Rectilinear Debris-Mantled Slopes 278

12.2.3 Convexo-Concavo Debris-Mantled Slopes 278

12.2.4 Pediment-Like Slopes and Inselberg-Like Hills 280

12.2.5 Stepped Profiles 281

12.3 Slope and Valley Development 284

12.3.1 Slope Asymmetry 284

12.4 Frozen and Thawing Slopes 287

12.4.1 Frozen Ground (Permafrost) Creep 287

12.4.2 Rock Glaciers 288

12.4.3 Thaw Consolidation and the Stability of Thawing Slopes 290

12.5 Periglacial Slope Evolution 293

12.5.1 The Davisian (Peltier)Model 293

12.5.2 Cryoplanation 295

12.5.3 Richter Denudation Slopes 295

12.6 Landscape Inheritance 296

12.6.1 The Uplands of Northern Interior Yukon 296

12.6.2 A Perspective 298

Part IV Pleistocene Periglacial Environments 299

13 The Pleistocene Periglacial Domain 301

13.1 Introduction 301

13.2 The Time Scale and Climatic Fluctuations 301

13.3 Global (Eustatic) Considerations 304

13.3.1 Sea-Level Changes 304

13.3.2 Uplift of Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau 304

13.4 Past Glaciations, Permafrost and Frozen Ground 305

13.4.1 Extent of Past Glaciations 305

13.4.2 Relict Permafrost 306

13.5 Pleistocene Periglacial Environments 307

13.5.1 General Considerations 307

13.5.2 Problems of Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction 308

13.5.3 Ice Age Mammals and Ecosystems 309

13.6 The Pleistocene Periglacial Domain in the Northern Hemisphere 312

13.6.1 Extent of LPM Permafrost 313

13.6.2 Western, Central and Southern Europe 313

13.6.3 Eastern Europe and Kazakhstan 315

13.6.4 Southern, Central and Northern Siberia 317

13.6.5 Western and North-Eastern China 317

13.6.6 North America 319

13.7 The Pleistocene Periglacial Domain in the Southern Circumpolar Region 321

14 Previously-Frozen Ground 323

14.1 Introduction 323

14.2 Past Permafrost Aggradation 323

14.2.1 The Palaeo-Active Layer and AssociatedWeathering Characteristics 323

14.2.2 Fragipans and the Palaeo-Permafrost Table 326

14.2.3 Secondary Precipitates and Clay Minerals 326

14.3 Frost-Fissure Pseudomorphs and Casts 327

14.3.1 Terminology Relevant to Pleistocene-Age Structures in Unfrozen Sediments 327

14.3.2 Ice-Wedge Pseudomorphs 329

14.3.3 Sand Veins, Sand-Wedge Casts and Composite-Wedge Casts 331

14.3.4 Frost Cracking: Seasonal or Perennial? 332

14.4 Frost-Mound Remnants 333

14.5 Past Permafrost Degradation 335

14.5.1 Thermokarst Depressions 335

14.5.2 Thermokarst Involutions and 'Sediment-Filled Pots' 336

14.5.3 Large-Scale Soft-Sediment Deformations 338

14.5.4 Non-Diastrophic Structures in Bedrock 339

14.6 Summary 341

15 Pleistocene Periglaciation 343

15.1 Introduction 343

15.2 Intense Frost Action 343

15.2.1 Frost-Disturbed Bedrock 343

15.2.2 Mountain-Top Detritus ('Blockfields') 344

15.2.3 Tors 347

15.2.4 Stratified Slope Deposits 347

15.2.5 Frost-Disturbed Soils, Periglacial Involutions and Patterned Ground 347

15.3 MassWasting and Aeolian-Linked Sediment Deposition 351

15.3.1 Geological 'Time Travellers' 351

15.3.2 Head or Solifluction Deposits 353

15.3.3 'Yedoma' and 'Muck' deposits 353

15.3.4 Loess and Aeolian Silt 355

15.4 Wind Abrasion and Aeolian Sediment Transport 358

15.4.1 Wind-Abraded Rocks 359

15.4.2 Aeolian Sand Deposition 360

15.5 DrainageModification 360

15.5.1 Ice-Marginal Drainage 361

15.5.2 River and Valley Incision in Ice-Free Areas 362

15.5.3 Enlargement of the Drainage Network 364

15.5.4 Asymmetrical Valley Development 364

15.6 Planation and Cryopedimentation 366

15.7 A Perspective on Periglaciation 366

15.7.1 The Example of Central and Southern England 367

15.7.2 General Conclusions 369

Part V Human Occupance and The Periglacial Environment 371

16 Urban and Social Infrastructure 373

16.1 Introduction 373

16.2 Human Occupance 373

16.3 Human-Induced Thermokarst 375

16.3.1 Early Siberian and North American Experience 375

16.3.2 The Rapidity of Change 376

16.4 Cold-Regions Engineering 378

16.4.1 General Principles 378

16.4.2 General Solutions 379

16.5 Provision of Municipal Infrastructure in Northern Canada 384

16.5.1 Inuvik, NWT 384

16.5.2 Dawson City, Yukon Territory 384

16.5.3 Yellowknife, NWT 387

16.5.4 Thompson, Northern Manitoba 390

16.6 The Alaskan Experience: The Example of Fairbanks 390

16.7 Water-Supply Problems 392

16.8 Urban Infrastructure and Climate Change 392

16.8.1 The Russian North 392

16.8.2 Other Areas 394

16.8.3 Related Socio-Economic Changes 396

17 Transportation and Resource Development 399

17.1 Introduction 399

17.2 Rivers as Highways 399

17.3 Roads and Highways 401

17.3.1 Winter Roads 401

17.3.2 All-Season Roads 401

17.4 Railways 405

17.4.1 The Hudson Bay Railway, Canada 405

17.4.2 The Qinghai-Tibet Railway (QTR), China 406

17.5 Bridge Construction 406

17.6 Runways and Airstrips 410

17.7 Oil and Gas Development 411

17.7.1 Exploration Problems 411

17.7.2 Exploratory Drilling andWaste-Drilling-Fluid Disposal Problems 414

17.7.3 Pipelines and Permafrost 415

17.8 Mining Activities 419

17.8.1 Placer Gold Mining Operations 419

17.8.2 Opencast Mining 420

17.8.3 Containment andWaste Disposal 420

References 423

Index 503
Hugh French was born in England and educated at The University of Southampton (BA, PhD). He emigrated from the UK in 1967 to accept an appointment with The University of Ottawa, Canada, where he taught in the Departments of Geography (1967-2003), Geology (1980-1992) and Earth Sciences (1998-2003). He has been Dean of the Faculty of Science at The University of Ottawa (1992-1997), President of the International Permafrost Association (1998-2003) and Editor-in-Chief of Permafrost and Periglacial Processes (1990-2005). He has received the Roger Brown Award of the Canadian Geotechnical Society for outstanding contributions to permafrost science and engineering (1989), the Canadian Association of Geographers award for scholarly distinction (1995), and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Permafrost Association (2016).

Hugh French is now Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa, and an Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria. He lives on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

H. M. French, University of Ottawa, Canada