National Treasure #44: Pingos

Well, the things you find out.

There are about 11,000 pingos in the world: ice domes, basically, which can form only where there is permafrost.

Canada has about 1/4 of them, and a special park to protect some of them near Tuktoyaktuk – Pingo National Landmark.

There is evidence of a Pleistocene pingo near Moscow.

Here’s some evidence of one near Tuktoyaktuk.

Irregular ice-dome hill near Tuktoyaktuk Airport.


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6 Responses to National Treasure #44: Pingos

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    If the Arctic keeps warming, what happens to ice domes?
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – I don’t know (this is getting to be a long list, the things I don’t know). But pingos seems to be a function of permafrost, so if that goes, so do they, I’m guessing.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    You’ve given me my new knowledge of the week. I had not formerly heard…at least as I can recall…the word “pingo.”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – You’re welcome! We like to think of ourselves as a northern people, but most of us are anything but.

  3. Marion says:

    I would have guessed a pingo to be a bird: somewhat like a penguin, but smaller and more bird-like, and able to fly.
    I learned something today.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Marion – Well, “pinguino” is the Spanish word for penguin, so that’s not a bad guess. I find it amusing the things we take for granted and just figure are everyday knowledge – what we know varies a lot!

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