Abstract

The initial configuration of the syngenetic ice-wedge polygons that developed in the outwash plain of glacier C-79 after 6000 BP was modified by the accumulation of wind-blown and organic sediments that began after 3670 ± 110 BP. The late Holocene sedimentation led to an increase in the thermal contraction coefficient of the soil and the formation of third- and fourth-order contraction cracks, partially explaining the current configuration of the polygonal network. The upturning of the sedimentary strata bordering the ice wedges was associated with the summer thermal expansion and resulting internal creep of the soil. The mean annual soil displacement coefficient was in the order of 2.5–2.7 × 10–5 /°C at the thousand-year scale. The late Holocene sedimentary strata under the centre of the polygons were undisturbed, which will make it possible to use this sedimentary record in further studies to attempt paleoenvironmental reconstructions from cores.

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