Soil Forming Processes

All soils are formed by the interaction of soil-forming factors, but because of the cold climate in the Arctic region, cryogenic processes, which lead to the formation of permafrost-affected soils, dominate the soil genesis. The presence and mobility of unfrozen soil water, as it migrates towards the frozen front along the thermal gradient in the frozen system, drives this process. The cryogenic processes that affect the genesis of Arctic soils are freeze-thaw, cryoturbation (frost churning), frost heave, cryogenic sorting, thermal cracking, and ice build-up. Other soil-forming processes that can leave an imprint on these soils include the gleying process, brunification, eluviation and salinization.

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