Micromorphology

The fabric of Arctic soils varies from granular-like (granic and granoidic) in the surface horizons to mainly porphyroskelic in subsurface horizons (Fox 1985). The terminology for microfabrics associated with permafrost-affected soils, which was developed and described by Fox and Protz (1981), is summarized as follows. Orbicular fabric, which is common in cryoturbated soils, has skeletal grains organized into circular patterns, probably as a result of sorting. Suscitic fabric has skeleton grains oriented in a vertical fashion, often with an underlying accumulation of finer matrix material (Fig. 1.3). Conglomeric fabric has individual structural units enclosed by finer matrix. Ice lensing and vein ice lead to the development of lenticular or platy structure (Fig. 1.4). Cryodesiccation and cryoturbation can lead to granic (granular) or blocky fabrics.

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