Online Geography Resources


Periglacial environment

IB DP Geography
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Base Knowledge and Understanding

Base knowledge and understanding

Video Clip
Data Visualization
Definition permafrost
active layer
patterned ground
News Article
Words to be defined
Base Level



The aim of this lesson:

  • To be able to explain permafrost, patterned ground, solifluction, thermokarst, pingos.
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Alternative map projections

Mark on the cold, high and 'hot, arid' environments. Give examples of countries that are covered by one of these environments.
Alternative projection maps
Geography Activities
Geography Activities


Permafrost is defined on the basis of temperature, as soil or rock that remains below 0°C throughout the year, and forms when the ground cools sufficiently in winter to produce a frozen layer that persists throughout the following summer.

The atmospheric climate is the main factor determining the existence of permafrost. However, the spatial distribution, thickness and temperature of permafrost is highly dependent on the temperature at the ground surface. The temperature at the ground surface, although strongly related to climate, is influenced by several other environmental factors such as vegetation type and density, snow cover, drainage, and soil type. [Source]

Permafrost Profile
Geography Activities
Geography Activities


Thermokarst is a land surface characterised by very irregular surfaces of marshy hollows and small hummocks formed as ice-rich permafrost thaws, that occurs in Arctic areas, and on a smaller scale in mountainous areas such as the Himalayas and the Alps. There are many kinds of thermokarst, including collapsed pingos, linear and polygonal troughs (patterned ground). Most thermokarst features relate to minor environmental changes which promote thawing.

Geography Activities
Geography Activities


Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Patterned Ground

Patterned Ground
Permafrost Stone Rings
BBC News
  Scientists explain Arctic stone circles [17 January 2003]
Geography Activities
Geography Activities


BBC News
  Warming speeds 'world's slowest moving landslides' [8 December 2015]
Geography Review



Explain what permafrost is and where it is found. [6 marks]

Explain a reason for the formation of patterned ground in periglacial environments. [6 marks]

Explain the periglacial process of solifluction. [6 marks]

Explain the appearance of thermokarst environments. [6 marks]

Explain the periglacial landform pingos. [6 marks] on facebook
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