Frost action is a hallmark of Arctic environments and collectively refers to processes involving the freezing and/or thawing of ground ice in soil, rock, or other regolithic materials. The freezing and thawing process is complex as soils, bedrock, and other unconsolidated materials freeze at different rates depending on their heat conductivity, and moisture contents, soils, and unconsolidated materials do not simply freeze when their temperatures drop below 0°C as they commonly exist in a supercooled state. Finally, the frequency, duration, and magnitude of drops below 0°C affect the rate and extent of freezing in unconsolidated materials. Four different frost action mechanisms are widely recognized: frost weathering, frost heaving, frost sorting, and frost cracking.
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