12. Gelisols: Very Cold Soils

  1. S. W. Buol B.S., M.S., Ph.D.1,
  2. R. J. Southard B.S, M.S., Ph.D.2,
  3. R. C. Graham3 and
  4. P. A. McDaniel B.S., M.S., Ph.D.4

Published Online: 5 AUG 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470960622.ch12

Soil Genesis and Classification, Sixth Edition

Soil Genesis and Classification, Sixth Edition

How to Cite

Buol, S. W., Southard, R. J., Graham, R. C. and McDaniel, P. A. (2011) Gelisols: Very Cold Soils, in Soil Genesis and Classification, Sixth Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470960622.ch12

Author Information

  1. 1

    North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA

  2. 2

    University of California, Davis, USA

  3. 3

    University of California, Riverside, USA

  4. 4

    University of Idaho, Moscow, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 AUG 2011
  2. Published Print: 2 SEP 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813807690

Online ISBN: 9780470960622



  • Gelisols - as very cold soils;
  • Gelisols (Greek gelid, very cold) - soils containing permafrost, within 200 cm of ground surface;
  • permafrost-affected soil horizons in Gelisols - wide range in characteristics;
  • global extent of Gelisols - not well documented, as that of other soil orders;
  • permafrost distribution - in Southern Circumpolar Region;
  • Gelisol landscape, near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska - patterned ground, polygons 10 m across;
  • pedogenic processes - in very cold environments, and Gelisols found, weathering, gains and losses;
  • Gelisols, characterized - by active layer overlying permafrost;
  • Gelisols, and variety of life - organic inputs, plants absent from driest and coldest Gelisols of Antarctica;
  • Gelisols, supporting lowest population density - of any of the soil orders, not immune to human impacts


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Setting

  • Pedogenic Processes

  • Uses of Gelisols

  • Classification of Gelisols

  • Perspective