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    Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    Encyclopedia Arctica 2a: Permafrost-Engineering

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    EA-I. (Robert F. Black)




    Introduction 1
    Constitution and Properties of Permafrost 2
    Extent 2
    Thickness 3
    Temperature 4
    Character 5
    Relation to Terrain Features 6
    Origin 7
    Geologic Ramifications 8
    Engineering Significance 12
    Biologic Significance 13
    Factors Affecting Permafrost 14
    Practical Applications 17
    Recognition and Prediction 19
    Construction 20
    Water Supply 22
    Sewage Disposal 23
    Agriculture 24
    Mining 24
    Refrigeration and Storage 26
    Trafficability 26
    Military 27
    Future Research Needed 28
    Bibliography 30

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon



    Fig. 1 Areal distribution of permafrost in the

    Northern Hemisphere
    Fig. 2 Representative cross section of permafrost areas

    in Alaska and Asia
    Fig. 3 Representative temperature profiles in areas of

    continuous, discontinuous and sporadic permafrost

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    EA-I. (Robert F. Black)





            Permafrost (perennially frozen ground) is a widespread geologic

    phenomenon whose importance and ramif ac ica tions are rapidly becoming better

    known and more clearly understood. For many decades European scientists

    have been describing surficial features produced by frost action and

    permafrost, but for the most part they have given only passing reference

    to perennially frozen ground. The current problem is to understand perma–

    frost so as to be able to evaluate it in the light of any particular endeavor,

    whether practical or academic. To understand permafrost we need a precise

    standardized terminology, a comprehensive classification of forms, a

    systemization of available data, and coordination of effort by geologists,

    engineers, physicists, botanists, climatologists, and other scientists in

    broad research programs. These objectives are only gradually being realized.

            This article is largely a compilation of or reference to recent available

    literature. Its purpose is to acquaint geologists, engineers, and other

    scientists with some of the many ramifications and practical applications

    of permafrost. New data from unpublished manuscripts of the U.S. Geological

    Survey are included where appropriate for clarity or completeness. References

    in this paper generally are only to the later American or German works, as

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    most contain accounts of the earlier literature. Unfortunately, the bulk

    of the literature is in Russian and unavailable to the average reader;

    some of it has been summarized by Muller (41). A list of 190 Russian articles

    that deal with permafrost is given by Weinberg (97). The Arctic Institute

    of North America (82) is currently preparing an annotated bibliograph y of all

    arctic literature, including permafrost.

            The multitude of problems associated with frost action appropriately

    should accompany any discussion of permafrost. However, lack of space permits

    only passing reference to the relationship between permafrost and frost action.

    An annotated bibliography on frost action has been prepared by the Highway

    Research Board (43).



            The term permafrost was proposed and defined by Muller (41). A longer,

    but more correct phrase, is “perennially frozen ground” (77). The difficulties

    of the present terminology have been discussed by Bryan (4; 6) who proposed a

    new set of terms. These are discussed by representative geologists and engineers

    (7). Such terms as cryopedology, congeliturbation, congelifratcion, and

    cryoplanation have been accepted by some geologists (9; 17; 35; 85) in order

    to attempt standardization of the terms referring to perennially frozen ground

    and frost action. The term permafrost has been widely adopted by agencies of

    the United States Government, by private organizations, and by scientists and

    laymen alike. Its use is continued in this article as it is simple, euphonious,

    and easily understood by all.

            Extent . Much of northern Asia and northern North America contains perennially

    Fig. 1 frozen ground (Fig. 1) (14; 41; 46; 72; 77; 84).

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    Figure 1

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            The areal subdivision of permafrost into continuous, discontinuous, and

    sporadic zones is already possible on a small scale for much of Asia but, as

    yet, only for part of North America. Refinements in delineation of these

    zones are being made each year. The southern margin of permafrost is known

    only approximately, and additional isolated bodies are being discovered as

    more detailed work is undertaken. The southern margin of permafrost has

    receded northward within the last century (47).

            Permafrost is absent or thin under some of the existing glaciers, and

    it may be absent in areas recently exhumed from ice-cover. A greater extent

    of permafrost in the recent geologic past is inferred from phenomena associated

    with permafrost (9; 30; 53; 54; 58; 60; 66; 83; 84; 98; 106). Some of the

    more important phenomena are fossil ground-ice wedges, solifluction deposits,

    block fields and related features, involutions in unconsolidated sediments,

    stone rings, stone stripes and related features, and asymmetric valleys (66).

    The presence of permafrost in earlier geologic periods can be inferred from

    the known facts of former periods of glaciation and from fossil periglacial


            In the Southern Hemisphere, permafrost is extensive in Antarctica. It

    probably occurs logically in some of the higher mountains elsewhere, but its

    actual extent is unknown.

            Thickness . Permafrost attains its greatest known thickness of about

    2,000 feet (620 meters) at Nordvik in northern Siberia (I. V. Poir e é , oral accout ✓

    communication). Werenskiold (99) reports a thickness of 1,050 feet ( 320 meters )

    in the Sveagru n van coal mine in Lowe Sound, Spit z s bergen. In Alaska its

    greatest known thickness is about 1,000 feet, south of Barrow.

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            Generally, the permafrost thins abruptly to the north under the Arctic

    Sea. It is discontinuous and sporadic as it gradually thins to the south

    Fig. 2 (Fig. 2) (14; 41; 77).

            In areas of comparable climatic conditions today, permafrost is much

    thinner in glaciated areas than in nonglaciated areas (77; 78).

            Unfrozen zones within perennially frozen ground are common near the

    surface (41) and are reported to occur at depth (14; 77). They have been

    interpreted as indicators of climatic fluctuations (14; 41), or as permeable

    water-bearing horizons (77).

            Temperature . Below the depth of seasonal change, the temperature of

    perennially frozen ground ranges from slightly less than 0°C. to about −12°C.

    (I. V. Poir e é , oral communication). In Alaska the minimum temperature recorded accout ✓

    to date is −9.6°C. at a depth of 100-200 feet in a well about 40 miles south–

    west of Barrow (J. H. Swartz, 1948, written communication). Representative

    temperature profiles in areas of continuous permafrost are shown in Figure 3A;

    in areas of discontinuous permafrost, in Figure 3B; and in areas of sporadic

    Fig. 3 permafrost, in Figure 3C.

            Temperature gradients from the base of permafrost up to the depth of

    minimum temperature vary from place to place and from time to time. In

    1947-48, four wells in northern Alaska had gradients between 120 and 215 feet

    per degree centigrade (data of J. H. Swartz, G. R. MacCarthy, and R. F. Black).

            The shape of a temperature curve indicates pergelation or depergelation–

    aggradation or degradation of permafrost (41; 77). Some deep temperature

    profiles have been considered by Russian workers to reflect climatic fluctua–

    tions in the recent geologic past. No known comprehensive mathematical

    approach has been attempted to interpret past climates from these profiles,

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    Figure 2 [?]

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    Figure 3

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    although it seems feasible. Some of the effects of Pleistocene climatic

    variations upon geothermal gradients have been discussed by Birch (2) and

    Ingersoll and Zobell (32).

            Character . Permafrost is defined on the basis of temperature, and it

    may encompass any type of natural or artificial material, whether organic or

    inorganic. Generally, permafrost consists of variable thicknesses of

    perennially frozen surficial, unconsolidated materials; bedrock; and ice.

    Physical, chemical, or organic composition, degree of induration, texture,

    structure, water conte c n t, etc., very widely and are limited only by the

    extremes of nature o f r the caprice of mankind. For example, perennially

    frozen mammals, bacteria, artifacts, beds of sand and silt, lenses of ice, and

    beds of peat can collectively be lumped under the term permafrost. Ground

    perennially below freezing but containing no ice has been called “dry per–

    mafrost” (41).

            Permafrost composed largely of ice is abundant, particularly in poorly

    drained, fine-grained materials. The ice occurs as thin films, grains,

    fillings, veinlets, large horizontal sheets, large vertical wedge-shaped

    masses, and irregular masses of all sizes. Many masses of clear ice are

    arranged in geometric patterns near the surface, i.e., polygonal ground and

    honeycomb structure. The ice may be clear, colorless, yellow, or brown. In

    many places it contains numerous oriented or unoriented air bubbles, silt,

    clay, or organic materials. Size, shape, and orientation of the ice

    crystals differ widely. Discordant structures in sediments around large

    masses of ice are evidence of growth (38; 77; 78).

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            Relation to Terrain Features . In the continuous zone of permafrost, the

    upper limit (permafrost table, 41) is generally within a few inches to 2 feet

    of the surface. Large lakes and a few large rivers lie in thawed areas

    slightly larger than the basins they occupy (3; 41). Well-drained, coarse–

    grained materials may thaw annually to a depth of 6 feet. Poorly drained,

    fine-grained materials protected from solar radiation and insulated with

    m i o ss and other vegetation may thaw annually to a depth of only 4 inches.

            In the discontinuous zone permafrost is absent under most major rivers

    and lakes. Permafrost may be absent in the tops of some well-drained low

    hills. Seasonal thaw (active layer, 41) penetrates 1 to 10 feet depending

    upon insulation, amount of energy absorbed from solar radiation, drainage,

    and type of material.

            Sporadic bodies of permafrost may be relics below the active layer or

    may be forming in favorable situations in poorly drained, fine-grained

    materials on north-facing slopes. In the zone of sporadic permafrost, the

    active layer may or may not reach the permafrost table, and ranges between

    2 and 14 feet in thickness.

            Generally, the depth of thaw is at a minimum in northern latitudes and

    increases to the south. It is at a minimum in peat or highly organic sediments

    and increase successively in clay, silt, and sand to a maximum in gravelly

    ground or exposed bedrock. It is less at high altitudes than at low

    altitudes and less in poorly drained ground than in dry, well-drained ground.

    It is at a minimum under certain types of tundra and increases successively

    under areas of bog shrubs, black spruce, larch, white spruce, birch, aspen,

    and poplar to a maximum under tall pines. It is less in areas of heavy

    snowfall, in regions having cloudy summers, and on north-facing slopes

    (41; 77; 78; 84).

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            Works of man commonly upset the natural thermal equilibrium and may tend

    to destroy permafrost or to aid in its formation. Most roads, runways, and

    other structures on the surface of or in the ground generally have s lower [S?]

    permafrost tables than undisturbed natural areas adjacent to them. Structures

    above the ground and insulated from the ground partially protect the surface

    from solar radiation and commonly produce higher permafrost tables.

            Origin . The origin of perennially frozen ground is discussed by Muller (41),

    Zeuner (106), Taber (77), Cressey (14), Nikiforoff (44), Leffingwell (38), and

    others. In general, it can be stated that most sporadic bodies of permafrost

    are relics of colder climates. Discontinuous bodies of permafrost are largely

    relics but under favorable conditions may grow in size, and pergelation (4),

    of new deposits may take place. In areas of continuous permafrost, heat is

    being dissipated actively from the surface of the earth to the atmosphere, and

    new deltas, bars, landslides, mine tailings, and other deposits are being per–

    gelated (incorporated in the permafrost).

            Local surface evidence indicates that in places heat is being absorbed

    into the base of permafrost faster than it is being dissipated at the surface

    (29; 104). Hence, the cold reserve is being lessened and the thickness of

    permafrost is decreasing from the base upward.

            The mean annual air temperature required to produce permafrost undoubtedly

    varies many degrees because of local conditions. Generally, it is given as

    30° to 24°F. Theoretically permafrost can form above 32°F. (80), and apparently

    is doing so locally in parts of southwest Alaska that have poor drainage,

    abundant vegetation, cloudy summers, and relatively slight absorption of solar

    radiation (S. Abrahamson, oral communication).

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            The relative effects of past climates have been inferred qualitatively

    through a study of present temperature profiles, ancient deposits, pollen

    analysis, changes in floras, the regimen of plants, soil structures, block

    fields, etc.

            The origin of large clear ice masses in the permafrost is a special

    problem in itself. Numerous theories are extant and one or more may apply to

    a particular mass of ice (38; 77).



            Throughout the Arctic and Subarctic the role of permafrost is extremely

    important. As an impervious layer in zones of continuous permafrost, it

    exerts a drastic influence on surface waters, completely prevents precipita–

    tion from entering the natural ground-water reservoirs, and commonly causes

    a concentration of organic acids and mineral salts in suprapermafrost water.

    In zones of discontinuous permafrost, and less so in areas of sporadic perma–

    frost, ground-water movement are interrupted or channelized. The quality

    of water, too, can be materially affected by storage for centuries, and

    subsequent release by thawing of organic and inorganic materials (36). In

    fact, our present concepts of ground-water reservoirs, ground-and surface–

    water movements, infiltration, quality of water, and so on, must be modified

    in considering permafrost as a new geologic formation, generally not uniform

    in composition or distribution, that transcends all rock and soil formations.

    Furthermore, it must be considered as much in regard to past as to present


            In cold climates, physical disintegration (frost splitting, congeli–

    fraction) plays a more important role than chemical weathering. The repeated

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    EA-I. Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    freezing of water- w s aturated materials and the growth of ice crystals in

    numerous small pores, cracks, joints, cleavage planes, or partings is

    by far the most effective disruptive proces . s. Taber (77) has shown that,

    without water, disintegration is generally much slower. Permafrost is one

    of the most important agents in keeping soils supersaturated (containing

    more water than pore space; a suspension) and in keeping rock fragments wet.

            Mass-wasting processes in the Arctic and subarctic are instrumental

    in the transport of tremendous volumes of material. With the exception of

    unbroken bedrock, the materials on the surface of slopes greater than 1° to

    3° are everywhere on the move in summer. The amount of material involved

    and the rapidity of such movements impress all who have studied them (96).

            Permafrost, on thawing slightly in summer, supplies a lubricated

    surface and additional water to materials probably already saturated. Hence,

    solifluction, mud flows, and other gravity movements take place with ease

    and in favorable locations even supply material to streams faster than the

    streams can remove it (94). Bryan (5) has coined the term “cryoplanation”

    to cover such processes (including also frost heaving normal to slopes and

    settling vertically), which in the Arctic are instrumental in reducing the

    landscape to long smooth slopes and gently rounded forms. Such physiographic

    processes are only partly understood and their effects only quali ta tively

    known (5).

            Permafrost, by aiding in maintaining saturated conditions in surficial

    materials, indirectly aids in frost-stirring (congeliturbation), frost-splitting,

    and mass-wasting processes in such a way that, in places, bedrock is disinter–

    grated, reduced in size, thoroughly mixed, and rapidly transported. The result

    is a silt-sized sediment that is widespread in the Arctic. Various authors

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    EA-I. Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    (5; 29; 67; 77; 87; 106) disagree as to whether some of the material is

    derived from aeolian, lacustrine, or local frost-splitting and mass-wasting

    processes. Size-grade distribution curves, mineral comparisons, chemical

    analyses, comparisons with glacial materials and with organic materials , etc.,

    have been used by various investigators to prove their point, but the

    differences of opinions have by no means been resolved.

            Frost action (frost heaving, frost stirring, and frost splitting) and

    gravity movements result in many surface forms that are found most abundantly

    in areas of permafrost, i.e., strukturb o ö den , involutions, frost boils, hummocks,

    altiplanation terraces, terr e a cettes , and soil stripes (9; 13; 25; 28; 35; 58;

    60; 63; 65; 70; 77; 83; 84; 85; 96; 106). Annual freezing in permafrost

    areas also forces changes in surface- and ground-water migration and commonly

    results in pingos, frost blisters, ice mounts, icings, Aufeis Aufeis , and other related

    forms (41; 42; 62; 84). Many of the forms produced by frost action and seasonal

    freezing are closely related in character and origin; however, the lack of a

    standardized terminology for these features produces a perplexing picture.

            Little can be said quantitively regarding the importance of frost action

    (and indirectly permafrost) in ancient sediments and soils (106). Throughout

    the world, deposits of former glaciers have been found in the stratigraphic

    sequence. Undoubtedly permafrost was present during those times of glaciations,

    as fossil forms derived from frost action and permafrost are known (30; 35; 58;

    60; 65; 84; 94; 105; 106). These forms provide data on the processes that

    produced the surficial materials and on the environment of deposition. These

    features are only now being recognized and studied in the detail that is

    warranted (5).

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            Permafrost throughout the world has provided a wealth of material for

    paleontologists and archeologists. In perennially frozen Alaskan placers,

    investigators have found more than 27 different plants (11), including whole

    forests of buried stumps (26); numerous iron and other bacteria; algae;

    87 species of diatoms (77); bones of at least 20 species of large mammals,

    represented by tens of thousands of speciments (77; 100); and a few species

    of mollusk a s , sponges, and insects (77). Permafrost in Siberia has been a

    storehouse for Pleistocene mammals (81).

            Permafrost upsets many readin g s taken by geophysicists in determining

    the internal constitution of the earth. Velocities of seismic waves, for

    example, are materially increased by frozen ground containing much ice and

    may result in considerable errors in determinations of depths. Although the

    actual increases are not definitely known, they probably range within 1,000

    to 8,000 feet per second. Unfortunately, the base of permafrost causes, with

    present equipment, no satisfactory reflections or refractions, and seismic

    methods cannot be used to determine the thickness or variability of the zone

    distorting the seismic waves. Difficulties in drilling, preparing explosive

    charges, checking ground waves, and obtaining interpretable effects are augmented

    in permafrost areas.

            Electrical methods, especially resistivity methods, give promise of solving

    some of the difficulties in determining the extent and thickness of permafrost

    (20; 34; 41; 74). Generally, resistivities of frozen silt and gravel are

    several thousand ohms higher than those of comparable unfrozen materials and

    may be 20 to 120 times as high (34; 74). However, as is well known, the type

    of material is less important than the amount of unfrozen ground water and

    dissolved salts within the material. Even in frozen ground these factors are

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    so variable that resistivity data can be interpreted with reliability only

    by experienced men and generally only for areas where some positive checks

    can be made through drilling.

            Sumgin and Petrovsky (73) discuss a new radio-wave technique, used

    where permafrost is below −5°C.



            In Alaska during World War II, difficulties encountered by the Armed

    Forces in obtaining permanent water supplies, and in constructing runways,

    roads, and buildings in permafrost areas focused attention on permafrost

    as nothing else could (1; 33; 78; 101). Only then did most people realize

    that in Russia similar difficulties with railroads, roads, bridges, houses,

    and factories had impeded colonization and development of the North for

    decades. Now, with the recent progress in aviation and because of the

    strategic importance of the North, active construction and settlement for

    military and civilian personnel must increase, and the problems of permafrost

    must be solved.

            Fortunately we can draw on the vast experience of the Soviet Union.

    Their engineers have shown that it is “…a losing battle to fight the forces

    of frozen ground simply by using stronger materials or by resorting to more

    rigid designs. On the other hand, the same experience has demonstrated that

    satisfactory results can be achieved and are allowed for in the design in

    such a manner that they appreciably minimize or completely neutralize and

    eliminate the destructive effect of frost action… Once the frozen ground

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    problems are understood and correctly evaluated, their successful solution

    is for the most part, a matter of common sense wher e by the frost forces are

    utilized to play the hand of the engineer and not against it.” Hence, “…it

    is worth noting that in Soviet Russia since about 1938 all governmental

    organizations, municipalities, and cooperative societies are required to

    make a thorough survey of the permafrost conditions according to a prescribed

    plan before any structure may be erected in the permafrost region….”

    (41, pp. 1-2, 85-86).

            Specifically, permafrost must be considered in construction of buildings,

    roads, bridges, runways, railroads, dams, and reservoirs; in problems of

    water supply, sewage disposal, telephone lines, drainage, excavation, ground

    storage, and in many other ways. Permafrost can be used as a construction

    material or as a base for construction, but steps must be taken to insure its

    stability, Otherwise, it must be destroyed and appropriate steps taken to

    prevent its formation.



            Permafrost, because of its low temperature and ability to prevent

    runoff, is a potent factor that aids in controlling vegetation in the Arctic

    and Subarctic (40). Many places have semiarid climate, yet have luxuriant

    growths of vegetation because permafrost prevents the loss of precipitation

    through underground drainage (low evaporation possibly as important). Such

    conditions are natural breeding environments for mosquitoes and other insects.

            Conversely, luxuriant growths of vegetation, by insulating the permafrost

    in summer, prevent deep thawing and augment cold soil temperatures. Hence,

    those plants with deep root systems, such as certain trees, are dwarfed or

    absent, and nourishment available to smaller plants is limited.

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            Raup (56; 57) points out that much arctic soil is unstable because

    of fro son st action (commonly associated with permafrost), and that standard

    biological methods of describing plant communities do not apply. The normal

    associations have been greatly disturbed, special communities for different

    frost forms can be identified, and above all the plant communities must be

    described on the basis of their physical habitat.

            Permafrost probably controls the distribution of some animal species,

    such as the frogs or toads, that require thawed ground into which they can

    burrow for the winter. The fox can have dens only in dry elevated places

    where the depth of thaw is 2 feet or more. Similarly, permafrost affects

    worms, burrowing insects, and other animals that live in the ground.

            Indirectly, permafrost, by exercising some control on types of vegetation,

    i.e., tundra vs. forest, also exercises some control on the distribution of

    animals such as the reindeer and porcupine.



            Most major factors affecting permafrost are recognized qualit at ively, but

    none is well known quantit at ively. These factors are easily visualized by

    turning to the original definition of the term permafrost. As permafrost

    is fundamentally a temperature phenomenon, we may think of it as a negative

    temperature produced by climate in material generally of heterogeneous

    composition. Permafrost is produced because, through a combination of many

    variables, more heat is removed from a portion of the earth during a period

    of 2 or more years than is replaced. Hence, a cold reserve is established.

            Basically, the process can be reduced to one of heat exchange between

    the sun, the atmosphere, and the earth. The sun, through solar radiation

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    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    (insolation), and the interior of the earth, largely through conduction,

    supply practically all primary heat to the surface of the earth (biological

    processes, natural or artific i al fires, chemical reactions, comic or other

    rad uatnibs iations excepted). This primary heat is dissipated to the atmosphere

    and to outer space by conduction, radiation, conve n c tion, and evaporation.

    The atmosphere by warm winds and precipitation distributes the secondary

    heat to the surface of smaller areas.

            We know that earth temperatures at the depth of seasonal change are in

    most places within a few degrees of the mean annual air temperature, and a

    geothermal gradient is established from the surface to the interior of the

    earth. The geothermal gradient at any one place is relatively fixed from

    year to year, although it varies from place to place and has changed markedly

    during geologic time. It is generally considered to be 1°F. for each 60-110

    feet of depth in sedimentary rock in the United States (93); possibly 0.1 or

    0.2 calorie per square centimeter per day is transmitted to the surface from

    the interior (80). In contrast, the sun supplies possibly as much as several

    hundred calories per square centimeter per day to the surface, depending

    primarily on the season and secondarily on cloudiness, humidity, altitude,

    latitude, and other factors. This period of rapid heating, however, is

    very short in the Arctic, and for many months heat is dissipated to the

    atmosphere and outer space. When dissipation of heat outweighs intake, a

    cold reserve is produced. If the ground remains below freezing for more than

    2 years, it is called permafrost.

            Although the fundamental thesis of the problem is simple, its quanti–

    tative solution is exceedingly complex. In only a few isolated areas in

    the Arctic have we any information on the geothermal gradients in and below

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    permafrost. The climate (including insolation) is so incompletely known

    that a present it is not possible to evaluate climatic factors except in

    a general way as they effect primary or secondary heat or in dissipation

    of heat (37). Thus, the following conditions tend to produce permafrost:

    ( 1 ) long cold winters and short cool summers; ( 2 ) low precipitation the

    year around and especially low snowfall; ( 3 ) clear winters and cloudy summers;

    ( 4 ) rapid evaporation the year around; ( 5 ) strong cold winds in summer and

    winter; and ( 6 ) low insolation.

            The materials involved have different specific heats and different heat

    conductivities (41; 61; 68; 69). Chemical and physical properties vary

    widely, yet are of primary importance (69; 75; 76). Water transmits heat

    about 25 times as fast as air, and ice 4 times as fast as water. Thus, poorly

    drained silt and muck are much more easily frozen than dry, coarse-grained

    gravel. Smith (69) points out the marked effect of soil structures and of

    architecture of pore space on thermal resistance in natural soils.

            The dissipating surface of the earth is even more complex and more

    changeable. Water-saturated, frozen vegetation and soil (bare of snow)

    serve as active conductors in winter, whereas lush, dry vegetation and dry

    porous soil act as excellent insulators in summer. Black-top pavements are

    good conductors and heat absorbers in summer and can destroy permafrost. An

    elevated and insulated building with circulating air beneath may unbalance

    the thermal regime of the ground toward pergelation. Heat conductivities

    of some earth materials are known under fixed laboratory conditions, but

    the quantitative effect in nature of variable moisture conditions and of

    changing vegetation is not. Changes in the volume, composition, or tempera–

    ture of ground water or surface runoff have effects as yet little known

    qualitatively or quantitatively.

    017      |      Vol_IIA-0032                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            All these factors must be considered as being in delicate balance between

    freezing and thawing. It is to be emphasized that the thermal regime is not

    uniform but changes from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, year to year,

    and cycle to cycle. Specifically we must think in terms of geographic position,

    topography, lithology, structure and texture of soils and bedrock, hydrology,

    geothermal gradients, thermal conductivities, vegetation, climate (temperature,

    precipitation, cloudiness, wind, insolation, evaporation), and cultural features.

            What effect cosmic dust clouds, changes in carbon dioxide content of the

    atmosphere, inclination of the earth’s axis, eccentricity of the earth’s orbit,

    sun spots, etc., have on permafrost can only be surmised as they e a ffect inso-

    lation and dissipation of the earth’s heat



            In the area of permafrost, prior to the construction of buildings, towers,

    roads, bridges, runways, railroads, dams, reservoirs, telephone lines, utilidors,

    drainage ditches and pipes, facilities for sewage disposal, establishments for

    ground-water supply, excavations, foundation piles, or other structures, it is

    imperative that the engineer have complete understanding of the extent, thick–

    ness, temperature, and character of the permafrost and its relation to its

    environment. The practical importance of the temperatures of permafrost cannot

    be overemphasized. Knowledge of whether permafrost is actively expanding, is

    stabilized, or is being destroyed, is essential in any engineering problem.

    Experience has amply demonstrated that low cost or high cost, success or

    failure, commonly is based on the degree of understanding of the problems to

    be encountered. Once the conditions are evaluated, proper precautions can be

    taken with some assurances of success.

    018      |      Vol_IIA-0033                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            Muller (41) and Liverovsky (39) give comprehensive outlines of general

    and detailed permafrost surveys as adapted to various engineering projects.

    These outlines include instructions for the planning of the surveys, method

    of operation, and data to be collected. Rarely does the geologist or engineer

    on a job encounter “cut-and-dried” situations, and it is obvious that discre–

    tion must be exercised in modifying the outlines to meet the situation at


            In reconnaissance or preliminary surveys to select the best site for

    construction in an area, it is recommended that the approach be one if unravel–

    ing the natural history of the area. Basically the procedure is to identify

    each land form or terrain unit and determine its geologic history in detail.

    Topography, character and distribution of materials, type and distribution

    of vegetation, hydrology, and climate must be studied as compared with known

    areas. Then, inferences, deductions, extrapolations, or interpretations can

    be made with reliability commensurate with the type, quality, and quantity

    of original data.

            Thus the solution of the problems depends primarily on a complete under–

    standing of the thermal regime of the permafrost and active layer. No factor

    can be eliminated, but all must be considered in a quantitative way. It is

    understandable that disagreement exists on what mean annual air temperature

    is needed to produce permafrost. Few, if any, areas actually have identical

    conditions of climate, geology, and vegetation; hence, they cannot be compared

    directly on the basis of climate alone. Without doubt the mean annual tempera–

    ture required to produce permafrost depends upon many factors and varies at

    least several degrees with variations in these factors. For practical purposes,

    however, separate units (terrain units) in the same climate or in similar

    019      |      Vol_IIA-0034                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    climates may be established on the basis of geology and vegetation. Thus

    a basis exists for extrapolating known conditions into unknown areas.

            The advantages of aerial reconnaissance and study of aerial photographs

    for preliminary site selection are manifold. Aerial photographs in the hands

    of experienced geologists, soils engineers, and botanists can supply suffi–

    cient data to determine the best routes for roads and railroads; the best

    airfield sites; and data on water supply, construction materials, permafrost,

    trafficability conditions, camouflage, and other problems. Such an approach

    has been used with success by the Geological Survey and other organizations

    and individuals (3; 55; 95; 103).

            Emphasis is placed on the great need for expansion of long-term applied

    and basic research projects on permafrost for a clearer understanding and

    evaluation of the problems (33; 41).

            Recognition and prediction of permafrost go hand in hand in a permafrost

    survey. If natural exposures of permafrost are not available along cut banks

    of rivers, lakes, or oceans, it is in places necessary to dig test pits or

    drill holes to obtain undisturbed samples for laboratory tests and to determine

    the character of the permafrost.

            Surface features can be used with a considerable degree of accuracy to

    predict permafrost conditions if the origin of the surface forms is clearly

    understood. Vegetation alone is not the solution, but it can be used with

    other factors to provide data on surficial materials, surface water, character

    and distribution of the permafrost, and particularly on the depth of the

    active layer (16; 41; 71; 77).

            Cave-in or thermokarst lakes (taw sinks, 29; 3; 41; 95) and ground-ice

    mounds (62) are particularly good indicators of fine-grained materials containing

    020      |      Vol_IIA-0035                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    much ground ice. Polygonal ground can be used with remarkable accuracy also

    if the type of polygonal ground and its origin is clearly known. Numerous

    types of Strukturb o ö den , polygonal ground and related forms have been described

    and their origins discussed (9; 28; 58; 63; 96). The type of ice-wedge poly–

    gon described by Leffingwell (38) can be differentiated from others on the

    basis of surface expression. The author’s work in northern Alaska (1945-48)

    revealed that the polygons go through a cycle which can be described as youth,

    maturity, and old age--from flat surfaces with cracks, to low-centered polygons,

    and finally to high-centered polygons. Size and shape of polygons, widths and

    depths of troughs or cracks, presence or absence of ridges adjacent to the

    troughs, type of vegetation, and other factors all provide clues as to the

    size-grade of surficial materials and the amount of ice in the ground. Frost

    mounds, frost blisters, icings, gullies, and many other surficial features

    can be used with reliability if all factors are considered and carefully

    weighed by the experienced observer.

            Geophysical methods of locating permafrost have given some promise

    (20; 34; 41; 73; 74). Various temperature-measuring and recording devices

    are employed. Augers and other mechanical means of exploring the permafrost

    are used (41).

            Construction . Two methods of construction are used in permafrost areas

    (41). In one, the passive method, the frozen-ground conditions are undisturbed

    or provided with additional insulation so that heat from the structure will

    not cause thawing of the underlying ground and weaken its stability. In the

    second, the active method, the frozen ground is thawed prior to construction,

    and steps are taken to keep it thawed or to remove it, and to use materials

    not subject to heaving and settling as a result of frost action. A preliminary

    021      |      Vol_IIA-0036                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    examination is necessary in order to determine which procedure is more

    practicable or feasible.

            Permafrost can be used as a construction material (if stress or load

    does not exceed plastic or elastic limit), removed before construction, or

    controlled outside the actual construction area. Muller (41) has shown

    that it is best to distinguish: ( 1 ) continuous areas of permafrost,

    ( 2 ) discontinuous areas, and ( 3 ) sporadic bodies. Russian engineers recom–

    mend that in ( 1 ) only the passive method of construction be used; in ( 2 ) or

    ( 3 ) either the passive or active method be used, depending upon thickness

    and temperature of the permafrost. Detailed information and references on

    the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, runways, reservoirs, airfields,

    and other engineering projects are presented by Huttl (31), Hardy and D’Appolonia

    (27), Zhukov (107), Corps of Engineers (88;89), and others.

            Eager and Pryor (18) have shown that road icings are more common in

    areas of permafrost than elsewhere. They, Tchekotillo (79), and Taber (78)

    discuss the phenomena of icings, classify them, and describe various methods

    used to prevent or alleviate icing.

            One of the major factors to consider in permafrost is its water content.

    Methods of predicting by moisture diagrams ( e é pures ) the amount of settling

    of buildings on thawing permafrost are presented by Fedosov (22).

            It should again be emphasized that permafrost is a temperature phenomenon

    that occurs naturally in the earth. If man disturbs the thermal regime

    know l ingly or unknowingly, he must suffer the consequences. Every effort should be made to 2 words missing. Cf. original p. 26 ✓

    control the thermal regime--to promote pergelation or depergelation as desired.

    Generally, the former is difficult near the southern margin of permafrost.

    If the existing climate is not cold enough to insure that the permafrost

    022      |      Vol_IIA-0037                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    remain frozen, serious consideration should be given to artificial freezing

    in those places where permafrost must be utilized as a construction material.

    Techniques similar to those used at Grand Coulee Dam or on Hess Creek (31)

    can be modified to fit the situation. It should be borne in mind that the

    refrigerating equipment need only run for a matter of hours during the summer

    after the ground has been refrozen and vegetation or other means of natural

    insulation have been employed. Bad slides on roads and railroads, settling

    under expensive buildings, loosening of the foundations of dams, bridges,

    towers, etc., probably can be treated by refreezing artificially at less cost

    than by any other method. If fact the day is probably not far off when air–

    fields or pykrete (49) or similar material will be built in the Arctic where

    no construction materials are available.

            Where seasonal frost (active layer) is involved in construction, the

    engineer is referred to the annotated bibliography of the Highway Research

    Board (43) and to such reports as those of the Corps of Engineers (90; 91).

            Water Supply . Throughout permafrost areas one of the major problems is

    a satisfactory source of large amount of water. Problems encountered in

    keeping water liquid during storage and distribution or in its purification

    are outside the scope of this report. Small quantities of water generally can

    be obtained from melted ice or snow. However, a large, satisfactory, annual

    water supply in areas of continuous permafrost is to be found only in deep

    lakes or large rivers that do not freeze to the bottom. Even then the water

    tends to have considerable hardness and organic content. It is generally not

    economical to drill through 1,000 to 2,000 feet of permafrost to tap ground–

    water reservoirs beneath, although artesian supplied have been obtained under

    700 feet of permafrost (15) and under 1,500 feet of permafrost (47).

    023      |      Vol_IIA-0038                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            In areas of discontinuous permafrost, large annual ground-water supplies

    are more common either in perched zones on top of permafrost or in nonfrozen

    zones within or below the permafrost (10; 50).

            Annual water supply in areas of sporadic permafrost normally is a

    problem only to individual householders, and presents only a little more

    difficulty than finding water in comparable areas in temperate zones.

            Surface water as an alternate to ground water can be retained by earthen

    dams in areas of permafrost (31).

            Throughout the Arctic, however, the quality of water is commonly poorer

    than in temperate regions. Hardness largely in the form of calcium and

    magnesium carbonate and iron or manganese is common. Organic impurities

    and sulfur are abundant. In many places ground water and surface water have

    been polluted by man or organisms.

            Muller (4) presents a detailed discussion of sources of water and the

    engineering problems of distributing the water in permafrost areas. Joesting

    (34) describes a partly successful method of locating water-bearing formations

    in permafrost with resistivity methods.

            Sewage disposal in areas of continuous permafrost is a most difficult

    problem. Wastes should be dumped into the sea as no safe place exists on

    land for their disposal in a raw state. As chemical reaction is retarded

    by low temperatures, natural decomposition and purification through aeration

    do not take place readily. Large streams that have flowing water throughout

    the year are few and should not be contaminated. Indiscriminate dumping of

    sewage will lead within a few years to serious pollution of the few deep

    lakes and other areas of annual surface water supply. Burning is costly.

    024      |      Vol_IIA-0039                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    As yet, no satisfactory solution has been found. In discontinuous and sporadic

    permafrost zones, streams are larger and can handle sewage more easily, but

    even there sewage disposal still remains in places one of the most important


            Agriculture . Permafrost as a cold reserve has a deleterious effect on

    the growth of plants. However, as an impervious horizon, it tends to hold

    precipitation in the upper soil horizons, and in thawing provides water from

    melting ground ice. Both harmful and beneficial effects are negligible after

    1 or 2 years of cultivation, as the permafrost table has thawed beyond the

    reach of roots of most annual plants (24).

            Farming in areas of permafrost with much ground ice, however, can lead

    to a considerable loss in time and money. Subarctic farming can be done only

    where a sufficient growing season is available for plants to nature during

    the short summers. Such areas are in the discontinuous or sporadic zones of

    permafrost. If the land is cleared of its natural insulating cover of vegetation,

    the permafrost thaws. Over a period of 2 to 3 years, large cave-in

    lakes have developed in Siberia (I. V. Poir e é , oral communication), and pits

    and mounds are formed in Alaska (50; 51; 52; 59). The best solution is to

    s elect farm lands in those areas free of permafrost or free of large ground-ice

    masses (86).

            Mining . In Alaska, placer miners particularly and lode miners to a

    lesser extent have utilized permafrost or destroyed it, as necessary, since

    it was first encountered. Particularly in placer mining, frozen ground has

    been the factor that made many operations uneconomic (102) or others economic.

    In the early part of the century, when gold was being mined so profitably at

    Dawson, Fairbanks, Nome, and other places in northern North America, it was

    025      |      Vol_IIA-0040                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    common for miners to sink shafts more than a hundred feet through frozen

    muck to the gold-bearing gravels. These shafts were sunk by steam jetting

    or by thawing with fires or hot rocks. If the muck around the shafts or

    over the gravels thawed, the mines had to be abandoned.

            Now, with the advent of dredges, such ground is thawed, generally with

    cold water, one or more years in advance of operations. In the technique

    used, holes are drilled through the permafrost at regular intervals of

    possibly 10 to 30 feet, depending on the material, and cold water is forced

    through the permafrost into underlying permeable foundations or out to the

    surface through other holes. Hot water and steam, formerly used, are uneconomi–

    cal and inefficient. Where thick deposits of overburden cover placers, they

    are removed commonly by hydraulicking. Summer thaw facilitates the process


            Permafrost in lode mining usually is welcomed by the miners as it means

    dry working conditions. Its effect on mining operations other than maintaining

    low temperatures in the mine is negligible unless it contains aquifers. Because

    of low temperatures, sealing aquifers with cement is difficult.

            Some well drilling in permafrost requires modifications of existing

    techniques and more careful planning for possible exigencies (21). Difficulty

    may be encountered in getting proper foundations for the rig. In rotary

    drilling difficulty may be experienced in keeping drilling muds at the proper

    temperature, in finding adequate water supplies, or proper local material for

    drilling muds. In shallow holes particularly, the tools will freeze-in after

    a few hours of idleness. Cementing of casings is costly and very difficult

    as concrete will not set in subfreezing temperatures. (See also “Arctic

    Alaska Petroleum Exploration and Drilling Operations.”) Deep wells extending

    026      |      Vol_IIA-0041                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

    below the permafrost may encounter high temperatures (100° to 150°F.). Hot

    drilling muds on returning to the surface thaw the permafrost around the

    casing and create a settling hazard in the foundation of the rig and also

    create a disposal problem. In some foundations refrigerating equipment must

    be used to prevent settling.

            Permafrost may act as a tr o a p for oil or even contain oil reservoirs.

    The low temperature adversely affects asphalt-base types particularly, and

    cuts down yields; production difficulties and costs increase (21).

            Refrigeration and Storage . Excavations are used widely in areas of

    permafrost for natural cold storage. They are most satisfactory in continuous

    or discontinuous zones. If permafrost is about 30°F., extreme care in ventila–

    tion and insulation must be used. Properly constructed and ventilated storerooms

    will keep meat and other products frozen for years. Detail s ed plans and charac-

    teristics required for different cold storage rooms are described by Chekotillo


            Trafficability . In the Arctic and Subarctic most travel overland is done

    in winter, as muskegs, swamps, and hummocky tundra make summer travel exceed–

    ingly difficult (21; 92). Tracked vehicles or sleds are the only practical

    types. Wheeled vehicles are unsatisfactory as most of the area is without

    roads. Polygonal ground, frost blisters, pinges, and small, deeply incised

    thaw streams (commonly called “beaded” streams), rivers, and lakes create

    natural hazards to travel.

            Permafrost aids travel when it is within a few inches of the surface.

    It permits travel of D-8 Caterpillar tractors and heavier equipment directly

    on the permafrost. Sleds weighing many tons can be pulled over the permafrost

    with ease after the vegetal mat has been removed by an angledozer.

    027      |      Vol_IIA-0042                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            In areas of discontinuous and sporadic permafrost, seasonal thaw is

    commonly 6 to 10 feet deep, and overland travel in summer in many places can

    be accomplished only with amphibious vehicles such as the “weasel” of LVT. (Landing Vehicle, Track)

    Travel on foot or by horse is very slow and laborious in many places because

    of swampy land surfaces and the necessity for making numerous detours around

    slough, rivers, and lakes.

            Military . Permafrost alters military operations through its effects on

    the construction of air bases, roads, railroads, revetments, buildings, and

    other engineering projects; in its effects on trafficability, water supply,

    sewage disposal, excavations, underground storage, camouflage, explosives,

    planting of mines; and in other more indirect ways (19; 92). Military

    operations commonly require extreme speed in construction, procuring of water

    supply, or movement of men and materiel. Unfortunately, it is not always

    possible to exercise such speed (21). Large excavations require that natural

    thawing, possibly aided by water sprinkling (31), proceed ahead of the earth

    movers. Conversely, seasonal thaw may be so deep as to prevent the movement

    of heavy equipment over swampy ground until freeze-up. Similarly, it may be

    necessary in a heavy building to steam jet piles into permafrost and allow

    them to freeze in place before loading them. These things take time, and

    proper planning is a prerequisite for efficient operations.

            Camouflage is a problem on the tundra. Little relief or change in vege–

    tation is available. Tracks of heavy vehicles or paths stand out in marked

    contrast for years. In aerial photographs it is easy to see foot paths and

    dogsled trails abandoned 10 years or more ago.

            The effects of mortar and shell fire, land mines, shaped charges, and other

    explosives undoubtedly change as the character of permafrost changes, but no

    data are available to the author.

    028      |      Vol_IIA-0043                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon



            Throughout the foregoing pages brief reference is made to aspects of

    permafrost or effects of permafrost on engineering, geologic, biologic, and

    other problems for which few factual data are available. However, in the

    event that the reader has received the impression that a great deal is known

    of permafrost, it is pointed out that the study of permafrost is relatively

    young and immature. It has lacked a coordinated and comprehensive investi–

    gation by geologists, engineers, physicists, botanists, climatologists, and

    other scientists. It is barely in the beginning of the descriptive stages,

    and only now is it receiving the world-wide attention it deserves.

            As our civilization presses northward, the practical needs of construc–

    tion, water supply, sewage disposal, trafficability, and other engineering

    problems must be solved speedily and economically. Our present knowledge

    is relatively meager, and trial-and-error methods are being used much too

    widely. Practical laboratory experiments (75; 76) and controlled experiments

    at field stations, such as that at Fairbanks, Alaska (33), are needed in

    various situations in the permafrost areas. From these stations methods and

    techniques of construction can be standardized and appropriate steps formu–

    lated to meet a particular situation. Such laboratories must be supplemented

    with arctic research stations such as are found in the Soviet Union. There,

    more than 30 natural-science laboratories exist with permanent facilities for

    pursuing year-round basic studies in all phases of arctic science. The Arctic

    Research Laboratory at Barrow (64) is a start in the right direction. The

    academic approach must accompany the practical approach if satisfactory

    solution of the problem is to be found.

    029      |      Vol_IIA-0044                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost as a Natural Phenomenon

            To name all the specific topics for future research would make this

    article unduly long as no phase of permafrost is well known. However, the

    author reiterates that the problems cannot be solved adequately until the

    phenomenon of heat flows in all natural and artificial materials in the earth

    is understood and correlated with insolation, atmospheric conditions, geother–

    mal gradients, and the complex surface of the earth. Then possibly, criteria

    can be set up to evaluate within practical limits the effect of various

    structures and materials on the dissipating surface of the earth. The

    complexities of geology (lithology, structure, and texture of soils and rock),

    hydrology, vegetation, and climate of the Arctic make the solution a formidable

    task, but the research is an int i r iguing problem for all earth scientists.

    030      |      Vol_IIA-0045                                                                                                                  
    EA-I. Black: Permafrost.


    1. Barnes, L.C “permafrost, a challenge to engineers,” Milit.Engr . vol.38,

    no.243, pp.9-11, 1946.

    2. Birch, Francis. “The effects of Pleistocene climatic variations upon geo–

    thermal gradients,” Amer.J.Sci . vol.246, no.12, pp.729-60, 1948.

    3. Black, R.F., and Barksdale, W.L. “Oriented lakes of northern Alaska,”

    J.Geol . vol.57, no.2, pp.105-18, 1949.

    4. Bryan, Kirk. “Cryopedology, the study of frozen ground and intensive frost–

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    5. ----. “The geologic implications of cryopedology,” J.Geol . vol.57, no.2,

    pp.101-04, 1949.

    6. ----. “Permanently frozen ground, “ Milit.Engr. vol. 38, no. 246, p.168, 1946.

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    Ibid . vol.40, no.273,pp.304-08, 1948. Discussion, pp.305-08.

    8. ----, and Albritten, Jr . , C.C. “Soil phenomena as evidence of climatic

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    Exp e é dition Arctique (Groenland) 1948-50. Section des Sciences

    Naturelles, pp.1-67.

    10. Cederstrom, D.J. Ground water data for Fairbanks, Alaska . Wash.,D.C., Geo–

    logical Survey, 1948. MS on open file.

    11. Chaney, R.W., and Mason H.L. A Pleistocene Flora from Fairbanks, Alaska .

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    12. Chekotillo, A.M. “Podzemnye khranilischa v vechnomerzloi tolshche,”

    (Underground storage places in permanently frozen ground.) Priroda,

    Moscow, no.11, pp.27-32, 1946. English translation by E.A. Golomshtok in

    the Stefansson Library, New York City.

    13. Conrad, V. “Polygon nets and their physical development, “ Amer.J.Sci.

    vo.244, no.4, p.277-96, 1946.

    14. Cressey, G.B. “Frozen ground in Siberia,” J.Geol . vol.47, pp.472-88, 1939.

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    Canad.Geogr.J . vol.32, no.1, pp.32-33, 1946.

    031      |      Vol_IIA-0046                                                                                                                  
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    16. Denny C.S., and Raup, H.M. Notes on the Interpretation of Aerial Photo-

    graphs along the Alaska Military Highway . Unpublished MS.

    17. ----, and Stitch, J. Geology of the Alaska Highway . Unpublished MS.

    18. Eager, W.L., and Pryor, W.T. “Ice formation on the Alaska Highway,”

    Public Rds ., Wash. Vol.24, no.3, pp.55-74, 1945.

    19. Edwards, N.B. “Combat in the Arctic, “ Infantry J . Jan., 1949, pp.4-8

    20. Enenshtein, B.C. “Rezultaty primeneniia elektrorazvedki metodom

    postoiannogo to a k a v raionakh vechnoi merzloty.” (Results of electro–

    metric investigations carried out by means of direct current on per–

    manently frozen soil d s .) Akad.Nauk Inst.Merzlot. Trudy T.5, pp.36-86,

    1947. (In Russian with English summary.) Abstracted in U.S.Geol.Surv.

    Bull .959-B. Wash.,D.C., G.P.O., 1948, pp.126-27. (U.S.Geol.Surv.,

    Geophys.Abstr . 133)

    21. Fagin, K.M. “Petroleum development in Alaska, “ Petrol.Engr . 1947, Aug.,

    pp.43-48; Sept., pp.150-64; Dec., pp.57-68.

    22. Fedosov, A.E., “Prognoz osadok sooruzhenii na ottaivaiushchei merzlote.

    2 (Metod vlazhnostnyh epiur).” (Forecasting of the settling of build–

    ings after the thawing of permanently frozen ground, by the method

    of moisture diagrams.) Akademiia Nauk, Leningrad, USSR. Institut

    Merzlotovedeniia. Issledovanie Vechnoi Merzloty v Yakutskoi Respublike ,

    no.1, pp.52-85, 1942.

    23. ----. “Prognoz osadok sooruzhenii pri ottaivanii gruntov osnovanii.”

    (The prognosis of the settlement of buildings on the underlying thawing

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    45. Nordale, A.M. “Valuation of dredging ground in the sub-arctic,” Canad.Inst.

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    61. Shannon, W.L., and Wells, W.A. “Tests for thermal diffusivity of granular

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    74. Swartz, J.H., and Shepard, E.R. Report i on a Preliminary Investigation s

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    89. ----. Construct t on of Runways, Roads, and Buildings on Permanently Frozen

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    104. Young, J.W. “Ground frost in Alaska,” Engng.Min.J . vol.105, no.7,

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    Akademiia Nauk, SSSR, 1946.


    Robert F. Black

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