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

Definition

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

Category

Synonyms

Description

  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).

     

Interpretation

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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References

  1. Berg TE, Black RF (1966) Preliminary measurements of growth of nonsorted polygons, Victoria Land, Antarctica. In: Tedrow JCF (ed) Antarctic soils and soil-forming processes. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp 61–108Google Scholar
  2. Black RF, Berg TE (1966) Patterned ground in Antarctica. In: Proceedings of the permafrost international conference, Lafayette, November 1963. Publication no. 1287, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, pp 121–128Google Scholar
  3. French HM (2007) The periglacial environment. Wiley, London, 458 pCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Goździk JS (1973) Origin and stratigraphic position of periglacial structures in Middle Poland. Acta Geogr 31:104–117Google Scholar
  5. Harris SA, French HM, Heginbottom JA, Johnston GH, Ladanyi B, Sego DC, van Everdingen RO (eds) (1988) Glossary of permafrost and related ground-ice terms, Technical memorandum no. 142. Permafrost Subcommittee, National Research Council of Canada, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  6. Heyse I, Ghysels G (2003) Fossil polygonal periglacial structures in Flanders (Belgium). In: Phillips M, Springman SM, Arenson LU (eds) Permafrost. Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, pp 395–400Google Scholar
  7. Lachenbruch AH (1962) Mechanics of thermal contraction cracks and ice-wedge polygons in permafrost. U.S. Geological Survey, Special paper 70, 69 pGoogle Scholar
  8. Levy JS, Marchant DR, Head JW (2010) Thermal contraction crack polygons on Mars: a synthesis from HiRISE, Phoenix, and terrestrial analog studies. Icarus 206:229–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Levy JS, Head JW, Marchant DR (2011) Gullies, polygons and mantles in Martian permafrost environments: cold desert landforms and sedimentary processes during recent Martian geological history. In: Martini IP, French HM, Pérez Alberti A (eds) Ice-marginal and periglacial processes and sediments, Special publications, 354. Geological Society, London, pp 167–182Google Scholar
  10. Soare RJ, Conway SJ, Dohm JM (2013) Low-centred polygons and recent landscape modification by “wet” periglacial processes in and around the Argyre impact basin, Mars. 44th Lunar Planet Sci Conf, LPI contribution no. 1719, p 1025, HoustenGoogle Scholar
  11. Washburn AL (1979) Geocryology. Edward Arnold, London, 406 pGoogle Scholar
  12. Washburn AL (1980) Geocryology: a survey of periglacial processes and environments. Halsted Press/Wiley, New York, 406 pGoogle Scholar

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