This collection of papers by internationally known scientists in the field of geocryology was originally presented as a series of lectures at the University of British Columbia in 1980-1 in honour of J. Ross MacKay. Together they illustrate the central dilemma in a science where fieldwork must be undertaken in the harsh periglacial environment and where, consequently, it is difficult to test theory rigorously. The papers provide a valuable overview of the current status of international research in a wide area of the field -- permafrost, patterned ground, and cold-climate phenomena and processes. The treatment varies from anecdotal, historical, and descriptive to mathematical.
'Field and Theory' is a thought-provoking attempt to set J. Ross MacKay's contribution to the understanding of permafrost processes and forms in the broadest international framework. It should leave most readers lost in admiration. - Barbara A. Kennedy, University of Oxford
"Overall this is a most welcome addition to the geocryological literature and one which is likely to have given Ross MacKay particular pleasure."
- Peter Worsley, Modern Geology
"Geographers of all stripes would do well to read this clearly written, informed, and sensitive piece. MacKay's consistently scholarly approach to pure and applied aspects of this important and extremely complex aspect of the earth sciences is an example and inspiration to us all."
- W. Peter Adams, The Canadian Geographer
List of Figures and Illustrations
List of Tables
1. On the Scientific Method of J. Ross Mackay / W.H. Mathews
2. Experimental Observations of Periglacial Processes in the Arctic / Alfred Jahn
3. Extreme Rainfall and Rapid Snowmelt as Causes of Mass Movements in High Latitude Mountains / Anders Rapp
4. Estimation of Avalanche Runout Distances in New Zealand / B.B. Fitzharris
5. The Ice Factor in Frozen Ground / L.W. Gold
6. Models of Soil Freezing / M.W. Smith
7. A Step Function Model of Ice Segregation / S.I. Outcalt
8. Recent Observations on the Deformation of Ice and Ice-Rich Permafrost / N.R. Morgenstern
9. Distribution of Recently Active Ice and Soil Wedges in the U.S.S.R. / N.N. Romanovskij
10. Periglacial Problems / A.L. Washburn
Notes on Contributors
Author Citation Index
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