active layer

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active layer A seasonally thawed surface layer, between a few centimetres and about 3 m thick, that lies above the permanently frozen ground in a periglacial environment. It may be subject to considerable expansion on freezing because of the water contained, and this is especially the case if silt-sized particles dominate, with important engineering implications. See also Mollisols and permafrost.

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active layer A seasonally thawed surface soil layer, between a few centimetres and about 3 m thick, that lies above the permanently frozen horizon in a periglacial environment. It may be subject to considerable expansion on freezing, especially if silt-sized particles dominate, and during the melt it may become very mobile. See also MOLLISOLS.

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active layer Seasonally thawed surface layer between a few centimetres and about 3 m thick, lying above the permanently frozen ground in a periglacial environment. It may be subject to considerable expansion on freezing, especially if silt-sized particles dominate, with important engineering implications. See also MOLLISOLS; and PERMAFROST.