A landscape zonation is presented for the southern and central Mackenzie River valley, based on observed changes in permafrost characteristics of selected terrain types, with changing climatic implications. The relative abundance of lichen on specified terrain types suggests the thickness of the active layer within the discontinuous permafrost zone, and is a useful guide in air photograph interpretation for extensive mapping of landscape–permafrost realtionships between localities of ground inspection. Widespread, fossil, cryoturbated terrain supports the contention that today's climate in the study area is less severe than that in the past.

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