002 - Periglacial Environment

Syllabus Point

Explain (AO2) permafrost, patterned ground, solifluction, thermokarst, pingos.

Key Terminology

  • Explain
  • Diurnal
Use the 'Command Term' posters in the classroom to help you define the key term. The other terms you will define throughout the course of the lesson.

Useful Links

Activity One - Describe

Image One - Periglaciation

Image Two - Permafrost
Taken From: http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/periglacial_environments.gif

Before we even start to look at landforms created in periglacial areas we need to look at what a periglacial area is and what its characteristics are. Answer the following questions using the images above and the useful resources below:

  1. What are periglacial areas?
  2. Where can periglacial areas be found?
  3. Describe the climate of periglacial areas.
  4. What is permafrost?
  5. Describe the three different types of permafrost.
      • Continuous
      • Discontinuous
      • Sporadic
  6. Why is permafrost found at higher altitude closer to the equator? 
  7. What is talik?
  8. What is the active layer?
  9. Why is the active layer important for landforms created in periglacial areas?

Useful Resources

      • 'Glaciation and Periglaciation' text book by Knight pages 64-69
Taken From: http://www1.alibris-static.com/glaciation-and-periglaciation/isbn/9781844896172_l.jpg

Activity Two - Processes and Movement

There are a number of key processes that occur in periglacial areas and these help to either break up the rock, transport it or deposit the rock.


  1. Describe the process of freeze-thaw.
  2. Describe how chemical weathering occurs?
  3. What is hydrolysis?
  4. What is carbonation?


  1. What is gelifluction and how does it occur?
  2. What is frost heave and how does it occur?
  3. What is frost creep and how does it occur?

Useful Resources

Taken From: http://www1.alibris-static.com/glaciation-and-periglaciation/isbn/9781844896172_l.jpg

Activity Three - Periglacial Landforms

Now you know how material is weathered and how it can move we can begin to look at the different landforms found in periglacial areas. 
Image One - Patterned Ground
Taken From: http://www.coolgeography.co.uk/A-level/AQA/Year%2012/Cold%20environs/Periglaciation/Patterned%20ground.jpg

Image Two - Solifluction Lobes
Taken From: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--c5HiIAHmNc/U_wqiZ9D8tI/AAAAAAAAB9s/oSu1w-k2D9A/s1600/Solifluction%2B1.jpg

Image Three - Thermokarst
Taken From: http://www.permafrostcarbon.org/images/thermokarstTaymir%20Russia.JPG

Image Four - Pingo Formation - Closed System
Taken From: http://www.coolgeography.co.uk/A-level/AQA/Year%2012/Cold%20environs/Periglaciation/Closed%20system%20Pingo.jpg

Image Five - Pingo Formation - Open System
Taken From: http://www.coolgeography.co.uk/A-level/AQA/Year%2012/Cold%20environs/Periglaciation/Open%20system%20Pingo.jpg

As the syllabus point focuses on four so shall we. Copy and complete the table below using the images above, the slide share below and the suggested text book.

Periglacial Landform Guide

Useful Resources

Slides illustrate periglacial landforms

Taken From: http://www1.alibris-static.com/glaciation-and-periglaciation/isbn/9781844896172_l.jpg

An Amusing Clip - Conditions in the Artic - Baffin Island, Canada

Image Six - Location Map of Baffin Island
Taken From: http://www.baffinisland.ca/uploads/2/5/7/7/25770190/5343443_orig.jpg

Dodo's Delight