Tarnocai, C. and Bockheim, J. G. 2011. Cryosolic soils of Canada: Genesis, distribution, and classification. Can. J. Soil. Sci. 91: 749-762. Cryosols are permafrost-affected soils whose genesis is dominated by cryogenic processes, resulting in unique macromorphologies, micromorphologies, thermal characteristics, and physical and chemical properties. In addition, these soils are carbon sinks, storing high amounts of organic carbon collected for thousands of years. In the Canadian soil classification, the Cryosolic Order includes mineral and organic soils that have both cryogenic properties and permafrost within 1 or 2 m of the soil surface. This soil order is divided into Turbic, Static and Organic great groups on the basis of the soil materials (mineral or organic), cryogenic properties and depth to permafrost. The great groups are subdivided into subgroups on the basis of soil development and the resulting diagnostic soil horizons. Cryosols are commonly associated with the presence of ground ice in the subsoil. This causes serious problems when areas containing these soils are used for agriculture and construction projects (such as roads, town sites and airstrips). Therefore, where Cryosols have high ice content, it is especially important either to avoid these activities or to use farming and construction methods that maintain the negative thermal balance.
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