Frequently misinterpreted words

Readers acquainted with the Russian language may be interested in the following words which often cause confusion in translations. A direct transliteration or a literal translation gives an incorrect or, at least, misleading meaning. Some erroneous translations have recurred in so many publications as to have gained a certain currency. As a consequence they have often caused difficulties for the proper understanding and assessment of the Russian literature of geocryology. The correct translations, so far as could be established for the present work, are given below (bold). They are arranged alphabetically, according to the transliterated Russian word.

dispersnost = disperse: this word is widely used in the Russian, where English would require 'fine-grained' ('greater dispersion' = 'more finegrained'); also used, however, in the sense of 'widely dispersed' (i.e. widely spaced or loosely packed).

kriolitozona = cryolithic zone = cryolithozone: usually synonymous with permafrost regions - including extensive areas where permafrost may be discontinuous or even rare.Indeed phenomena of seasonally freezing soils found far distant from permafrost, are referred to as typical of the cryolithozone (for example, in Chapter 3). A term covering all ground affected by freezing (regardless of permafrost) would be useful. Cryolitho-sphere is occasionally used in this sense.

plotnost': - density, in the normal sense, but is also used in the sense of 'strength' or 'intensity' for example of a flow of water (and would then usually be omitted in English).

suglinok: silty soil with more sand than clay (See quantitative limits in: Sanger, F. J. in Second Intern. Conf. Permafrost, USSR Contribution, National Acad. Sci., Washington. 1973 pp. xi, xii). Russian translators often use 'silty loam' for these soils but 'loam' in English is normally restricted to an agricultural or soil science context. Generally shown in the present work as sandy-silt or similar.

SNiP: - although 'snip' is an appealing acronym, sometimes used directly by English-speaking engineers, the translation Building Norms and Regulations seems preferable.

supes: silty soil with more clay than sand generally translated in the present work as 'clay-rich sandy silt' or similar. See also comments under suglinok.

poroda: ground, rock or soil, according to context. Skal'naya poroda and gornaya poroda: bedrock talyy: literally, 'thawed' but often used for unfrozen part of ground, of soil sample etc. without reference to any previously frozen state. Thus, 'unfrozen soil', 'unfrozen ground'. Where this meaning is intended rather than using the symbols t, th, or tha (used as subscripts) in equations and figures have been replaced by unf in the English.

migratsionno-segregatsionnyy led: literally, migrational-segregation ice: ice accumulating by cryosuction, normally in the form of ice lenses or layers (also called —schlieren), and characteristic of frost heaving soils, ob'yemno-gradientnoye napryazheniye: literally, volume-gradient stress: an 'all-round' stress, esp. stress inducing shrinkage (volumetric strain). The term embodies the concept of gradients of such stress, which leads to cracking and shearing as a result of the differential volume changes.

zhila: 'wedge' or 'vein'. Ice wedge in the English sense, is povtorno zhil'nyy led = 'recurring ice wedge' although the 'recurring' (povtorno) may often be omitted. Thus confusion may exist between ice wedge, and ice vein -usually the initial (first year) ice infilling of the tensile fracture crack. See also van Everdingen, R. O. (1994).

usadka: shrinkage (as in English, a distinction may be made between 'shrinkage' and 'consolidation' (soil mechanics sense) - although the process is similar)

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