Meiren Grassland in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
by Zi Wang, McGill University, Montréal, Canada
Showing in the photo is Meiren Grassland in Gansu province. The many small mounds are referred as hummocky meadows. Earth hummocks arise due to the localized uneven freezing of pore-water within the active layer. Although a complete ice core does not form, a fraction of the soil experiences freezing. This frozen ground core induces the movement of moisture toward it, resulting in a minor displacement of soil material in the corresponding direction. The repeated freeze/thaw cycles contribute to the amplification of this displacement, ultimately leading to the formation of a small mound through frost heaving.
Zi Wang (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)