Thursday 31 December 2020

Sogmire, Quagmire, Bogmire; and Epidermafrost, Dermafrost and Permafrost - a scale of severity for marshiness and ground-freezing

I would like to share a couple of scales - one old, the other recent, which my wife and I devised for describing the conditions one encounters on a country walk...

Up in the Cheviot Hills, especially; the ground is often damp - but how damp?

Sogmire - is when the ground looks dry, but the weight of a foot squeezes-out some water.

Quagmire - is when it is wet and muddy underfoot.

Bogmire - is when the ground is over-saturated - with standing water - a bog.

Bogmire (with white Bog Cotton plants) on the Cheviot Hills...

And just recently we came up the the following stages, leading up to our adaptation of the established term 'permafrost':

An Epidermafrost edging on grass

Epidermafrost - is a surface crusting of frost that affects only the leaves of grass, and makes a skim of ice on standing water. 

Dermafrost - is when the cold has penetrated into the soil, making mud firm underfoot; and lending a thick layer of ice to standing water. 

Permafrost - is when the whole ground is deeply frozen, feeling rock hard underfoot; and standing water in puddles is frozen solid.


Notes: The original meaning of 'permafrost' refers to a situation when the deeper ground never thaws from one year to the next - not even in the summer. 

The names for lesser degrees of frost come from the biological terms relating to skin - the epidermis is the visible surface layer of dead skin; whereas the dermis is the living skin below this - which contains appendages such as hair and nail roots, and sweat glands.   


1 comment:

Matthew T said...

Indeed unfortunate that this clever post received no comments! I liked it.