Pingo?

 

 

 

 

The above is, apparently, a character named Pingo and has several books about this creature person character.  If you want to know more about this Pingo, click on the photograph and think about buying the book.  It showed up on a Google search for pingo images, but it isn’t the type I am going to talk about.

 

 

I have to admit, I had never heard of a pingo.  It has now been long enough (couple of weeks) that I cannot remember how I came into contact with the word, but I believe it was through a science article.  I saved the name and wiki link and thought a post would be good someday.

So, today, I have decided to talk about pingos.

A pingo is like a hill of ice covered in dirt.  This can make it look like any other hill or mound but it is different. Pingos can occur in any area where freezing and thawing affect a change in the land significantly.  They can get quite large.  Some have measured over 200 feet high and about 2/5 of a mile across.

Another word for a pingo is a hydroaccolith.  The word “pingo” means “small hill” in the language of Inuvialuktun, or Western Canadian Inuit.  The Inuits are, basically, Eskimos (I believe).

A few of the places which have pingos are Northwest Territory (Canada), Greenland, and Siberia, even in England and the Netherlands.  The Earth has (estimate) 11,000 pingos.  I have never seen one outside of a photograph.

There are several types of pingos, some resembling volcanoes.  These, often, have cones broken at the top due to the ice breaking and melting.  As stated earlier, a lot of these look like rounded hills or mounds.  The area must have permafrost for pingos to exist.  If a pingo has collasped, then permafrost once existed.  They are growing, but slowly (about 2 cm / yr ).  Drained lakes or rivers can cause one type of pingo.  The other is, usually, caused by underground water flowing from a surface source.

Here are a couple of pictures of pingos:

In Canada

In Canada, again, but this one is melting.

If you want to delve into pingos more, I would suggest Wiki.  Most of the info contained in this post came from here; I just tried to condense and make it easier to read.

Here are a few other sources for pingo information:

Britannica

Frozen Ground

And, finally, a YouTube video on Pingos: (You knew that was coming, right?)

Hope you enjoyed this brief excursion into something I found pretty fascinating.

Namaste,

Scott

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