Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Composite-Wedge Polygon

  • Henrik Hargitai
  • János Kovács
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_63


Frost-fissure polygon net comprises variable proportions and distributions of both ice and clastic sediments (Goździk 1973).




  1. (1)

    A network of subsurface wedges that are composed of a mixture of ice and sand or rubble. Ice and sand layers may alternate within a wedge (Berg and Black 1966). They can be distinguished from other composition wedges by the presence of accessory landforms, such as gullies.

  2. (2)

    A frost-fissure polygon net showing evidence of both primary and secondary filling:  sand-wedge polygon (Harris et al. 1988 and references therein).



Thermal-contraction cracks are tensile fractures produced by thermal stresses in ice-rich or ice-cemented permafrost (Lachenbruch 1962). These cracks may be filled by one of three materials or a combination thereof: (a) seasonal snowmelt that freezes in the autumn and forms ice veins in the cracks,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geology and MeteorologyUniversity of PécsPécsHungary