ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,
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1word1day

Monday word: thermokarst

thermokarst (thûr′mō-kärst′), noun

A landscape pattern formed by the melting of permafrost and characterized by patterns of hummocks and water-filled depressions.

The Batagaika crater in the Siberian taiga, an example of a thermokarst, is sometimes called the "doorway to the underworld":

The crater began when a section of forest was cleared in the 1960s.  With the ground no longer shaded, the permafrost began to melt, causing the ground to collapse; subsequent flooding helped to continue the process.  Here is an article about the crater.

Etymology:  The Karst is a limestone plateau near Trieste; the word 'karst', denoting an area of irregular limestone characterized by sinkholes and underground streams, derives from that.  'Thermokarst' refers to a karst-like (there might not be any limestone) formation that is the result of thawing (heat).
Tags: german, noun, t, wordsmith: ersatz_read
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