Solifluction

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solifluction

[¦säl·ə′flək·shən]
(geology)
A rapid soil creep, especially referring to downslope soil movement in periglacial areas. Also known as sludging; soil flow; soil fluction.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Solifluction

 

the flow of wet, finely dispersed soil down a slope resulting from the perennial freezing and thawing of the ground. The flow rate is usually a few centimeters a year; sometimes, in the case of disastrous flows, the flow rate reaches hundreds of meters an hour. The development of solifluction results from decreased ground stability caused by meltwaters and rain and by freezing and thawing. Solifluction occurs primarily in permafrost regions and in regions characterized by seasonal freezing. It is most common on slopes of medium steepness (8°-15°) that have a layer of dispersed beds at least 1.0–2.0 m thick. Slow solifluction develops primarily above the timberline and creates characteristic forms of microrelief, for example, flows and terraces having a tonguelike (parabolic) shape. The classical regions of development of solifluction are the polar and subpolar regions, the Urals, the Chukchi Peninsula, Spitsbergen, and Alaska.

REFERENCES

Kaplina,T. N. Kriogennyesklonovyeprotsessy. Moscow, 1965.
Zhigarev, L. A. Prichiny i mekhanizm razvitiia solifluiuktsü. Mos cow, 1967.

T. N. KAPLINA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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