Climatic stations near glacial termini and equilibrium lines show a distribution of freezing and thawing indices that does not conform to the boundaries derived from data for stations in areas of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Active tongue-shaped rock glaciers have similar limits of freezing and thawing indices to the equilibrium lines of glaciers, while active lobate rock glaciers have limits paralleling the limit for stations in the zone of continuous permafrost.This difference between the distributions of lobate and tongue-shaped rock glaciers explains why the active tongue-shaped rock glaciers can be used for indicating the limits of the permafrost areas in the Alps (a maritime regime), but cannot be used in that way in continental climates, e.g., Alberta, interior Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

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