Talk:Frost heaving

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Contradiction[edit]

"Dry, moist soil at certain temperatures is most susceptible to frost heaving." Dry *and* moist? TotoBaggins

That should have been "moist, fine-grained soil". Thanks. Wmahan. 17:11, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Seasonal timing[edit]

It might be useful to add some info about when this commonly happens.

Is it in the Fall, when ground starts to freeze? During the coldest part of Winter, when more ground freezes? In the Spring, when ground thaws during the day and re-freezes at night? Or allo f these times? T-bonham 02:08, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Frost creep merge suggestion[edit]

I'm not a geologist, but that article suggests that "frost heave" is synonymous, and given that it'd seem more sensible to make that article a redirect to this one. --Joe Decker 00:34, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree, frost creep should become a section of frost heave. I am also not a geologist, but I think they would have no problem with that subject being covered under one article. Dragonbeast 18:32, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry to disagree all, but I am a Structural Engineer and would have some points to be addressed were the two articles to be merged. Frost creep involves movement, and although is effected by similar actions, is not the same as Frost heave. In effect frost creep is caused by frost heave. All that being said, I would not have a problem with frost creep being a section of frost heave, so long as the explanation regarding creep be retained. The statement that the two are synonymous should in any case be removed (I'll go do that now). - 5 April 2007 (1:09 am)

Frost creep is not referenced here. It is variously considered to be the creeping of thawing soil over a frozen substrate or gelifluction. Although related to thawing soil, it is not a form of frost heave, so I plan to remove reference to it here, pending further discussion. User:HopsonRoad 03:12, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

frost heave in desert[edit]

In "Sandy deserts of Iceland: an overview" O. Arnaldsa, F. O. Gisladottirb and H. Sigurjonsson seem to describe rocks being lifted in Islandic sandy deserts through frost heave. I can't get at the full article, but remember a similar one a while back. Could s.o. with expert knowledge plse. confirm. That would mean the text about "moist" soil would need to be changed.Lisa4edit (talk) 16:45, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


I've just taken a look at that paper and here's a snippet from the Implications/conclusions section.

"The sandy deserts lack waterholding capacity and the black surfaces become warm and dry on sunny days. Water shortage therefore impedes plant growth, which gives Icelandic deserts similar properties to the arid deserts of the world, in spite of the more moist climate in Iceland."

So they are dry and don't hold water well... but earlier in the paper it mentions that the area can be flooded... So I'm guessing that it's moist enough to allow frost heave ... it's just that the surface is far too dry to allow plants to take hold... but at the sand is ontop of a Till and so there could be water down there... Sorry no time to make a coherent, wellspelled or formatted comment... I've got an exam on Cold Climate Geomorphology in 25 mins... ARGH!

Kiffer.geo (talk) 12:39, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

wedging vs. heaving[edit]

What is the difference between frost wedging and frost heaving? Are they different names for the same phenomenon? I've been redirecting the term "frost wedging" to Weathering#Frost disintegration, but then I came across this article and now I'm confused. Does anyone know? --Hraefen Talk 18:10, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

"Frost" is a loosely used term. If you're referring to "Ice wedging," it's a process found in permafrost and described at: Physicalgeography.net's, CHAPTER 10: Introduction to the Lithosphere. Periglacial Processes and Landforms --User:HopsonRoad 23:08, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Better basic description needed[edit]

This article does not explain frost heaving in a clear fashion. The intitial reference is not related to the phenomenon. What follows is perhaps a better explanation:

Frost heaving (or a frost heave) results from ice forming beneath the surface of soil during freezing conditions in the atmosphere. The ice grows in the direction of heat loss (vertically toward the surface) starting at the freezing front in the soil, it requires a water supply to keep feeding the ice crystal growth, and the growing ice is restrained by overlying soil, which applies a load that limits its vertical growth and promotes the formation of a lens-shaped area of ice within the soil. Yet the force of one or more growing ice lenses is sufficient to lift a layer of soil, as much as 30 cm or more. The soil through which water passes to feed the formation of ice lenses must be appropriately porous to allow capillary action, analogous to fuel rising in a wick towards a flame. In this case, the growth of ice lenses continually consumes the rising water at the freezing boundary.[1]

Still not very useful IMO. I had no idea what a "frost heave" is when I looked up this article. I think it should start with a one-sentence description of the phenomenon (what does it look like?) and then it can explain what it results from. The image shows a dirty piece of forest ground, I have no idea what I'm looking at, looks very technical, but maybe it needs a big arrow THIS IS THE FROST HEAVE ---> *
"A frost heave is a bump in the ground caused by ice below it" (or something? after reading the article, I still have no idea what exactly is a frost heave, but it looks like it's a bump in the ground caused by ice below it?).

Needle ice is essentially frost heaving that occurs at the beginning of the freezing season, before the freezing front has penetrated very far into the soil and there is no soil overburden to lift as a frost heave.[2]

  1. ^ Taber, Stephen (1930), "Frost Heaving" (PDF), Journal of Geology, 37: 428–461
  2. ^ Beskow, Gunnar; Osterberg, J. O. (Translator) (1935), "Soil Heaving and Frost Heaving with Special Application to Roads and Railroads" (PDF), The Swedish Geological Society, C No. 30 (Year Book No. 3)

User:HopsonRoad 03:36, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Frost heaves in roads?[edit]

Is the heaving of pavement during winter caused by frost heaves? They are called by that name in Canada Pendragon39 (talk) 00:16, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Indeed freezing is the most usual cause of pavement heaving in winter. See, for example, the Washington Asphalt Pavment Association and Pavement Interactive website guidance on the matter. --User:HopsonRoad 01:42, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Polygonal structures on Mars[edit]

Concerning the latest literature (e.g. [1], [2]) polygonal structures on Mars are not produces by forst heave. They are a result of thermal cracking, as ice wedges.--Cactus26 (talk) 07:04, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Uninformative initial sentence[edit]

The initial sentence of this article says:

Frost heaving (or a frost heave) results from ice forming beneath the surface of soil during freezing conditions in the atmosphere.

It tells us what this _results from_; it does not tell us what this _is_. It's as if someone assumed the reader already knows that. But that's the very thing it should be informing us of. Michael Hardy (talk) 16:13, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I concur with your criticism, Michael. See if my rewrite is an improvement. Sincerely, User:HopsonRoad 02:16, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

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