Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research

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Vol. 19, No. 2, 1987

pp. 155-166

Frost-Heave Activity in the Mount Rae Area, Canadian Rocky Mountains

Daniel John Smith

The activity of frost-heaving processes is described for two alpine sites in the Front Range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains over the period 1980 to 1983. The two sites recording frost-heave frames demonstrated heaving resulting from both diurnal and seasonal mechanisms. Diurnal heaving was related to the nocturnal growth of needle ice and resulted in an average heave of 10 mm. Averaging only 20 events per year, its geomorphic significance appeared limited. Seasonal heaving resulted in between 23 to 45 mm yr−1 of surface displacement. These relatively low values appear to correspond to limited soil moisture in the fall freeze-up period. Comparison of the magnitude of potential downslope creep generated by seasonal heaving with the actual amount of mass wasting at 120 points revealed that actual frost creep was less than 36 to 63% of the computed values.

Citation Note: This article was published when our journal had an earlier shorter name: "Arctic and Alpine Research."