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Guide to Geologic Hazards in Alaska
- Thawing permafrost
- Thawing of any soil, subsoil, or other surficial deposit, or even bedrock, occurring in the arctic, subarctic, and alpine regions at variable depth beneath the Earth's surface in which a temperature below freezing has existed continuously for a long time (from two years to tens of thousands of years) [Permafrost]. This definition is based exclusively on temperature, and disregards the texture, degree of compaction, water content, and lithologic character of the material. The thickness of permafrost ranges from over 1000 m in the north to 30 cm in the south; it underlies about one fifth of the world's land area. Syn: pergelisol, perennially frozen ground.
(Neuendorf, K.K.E. and others, 2005)