Frost jacking of joint blocks above Cwm Idwal, in North Wales
Worsley, P. (2007) Frost jacking of joint blocks above Cwm Idwal, in North Wales. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 118. pp. 277-281. ISSN 0016-7878
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The in situ development of ground ice is a major mechanism in rock breakdown. Where well-jointed rock has been streamlined through glacial abrasion, subsequent growth of subsurface intrusive ice may lead to the uplift of individual blocks and disruption of the ice erosional landform. This jacking' mechanism is likely to be a progressive process. Following climatic change and allied ground ice decay, the degree of subsequent settlement will be controlled by the degree to which individual blocks become wedged against their neighbours. Possibly the first example to be identified in Britain is described here. It dates from a severe phase of periglaciation occurring between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Flandrian Interglacial (c. 22-11.6 ka BP). Where identified in currently temperate regions, frost-jacked blocks may be interpreted as evidence for palaeopermafrost.
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