Welcome to Icylands at the University of Washington
Polygonal patterned ground in the Dry Valleys, Antarctica. This terrain is common in soils that contain ice. As the ice-rich soils cool rapidly, the soils contract and cracks from to alleviate the stress, a process that is similar to diverse processes as the formation of columnar basalt and cracks that from as mud puddles dry.
Full-size image (2048 x 1536, 878K)
Dry Valley sections are being updated and expanded.