Authored by: J.G. Bockheim , C. Tarnocai

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:


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Gelisols, which are the permafrost-affected soils, constitute the 12th and newest soil order. They comprise 18 million km2 or about 13% of the Earth’s land surface and occur in the Arctic, Subarctic, Boreal, Antarctic, Subantarctic, and some alpine regions under cold continental, subhumid or semiarid, and arid conditions (Bockheim et al., 1994). They are either unvegetated or support continuously vegetated tundra, subarctic and boreal forest, and some alpine tundra. Gelisols are of global concern because they contain many protected areas, support numerous indigenous populations who depend on the land and surrounding oceans for sustenance, and may be subject to considerable impacts from human development (oil, coal and gas exploration, and mining) and global warming.

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