"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brrrr, Is This Permafrost?

Permafrost is part of this northern land.
It is just what is says-- frozen ground that never thaws underneath a shallow layer of soil.
We have become pretty good experts at identifying areas of permafrost.
There is a crooked house on a popular street that caves in toward the center.
The whole foundation is damaged. Kathleen explained that this is because a furnace was
placed in the middle of the house and the heat thawed the permafrost,
thus sinking the middle of the house.
Note to self: Never build on permafrost!

Also, the spruce that grow there are super small, their growth stunted by the inability of their roots to go down deep enough to draw necessary nutrients.
Jack is standing by spruce that are very old, they just look like baby trees.
They could be 100 years old.
See how thin and short they are?
Just imagine what would happen it they were transplanted into good soil?

And that familiar pipeline always rises above the ground
whenever its path comes upon an area of permafrost.
I wrote about that days ago in the pipeline post.
See 9/4/11.

This is called a "Drunken Forest" and is a sure giveaway
that the land is permafrost.
As the very top layer of earth thaws in summer and refreezes in winter,
the roots shift and the spruce tilt.
We had fun calling out, "Drunken Forest" whenever we spotted these.

No comments:

Post a Comment