On Patterned Ground

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 354-355
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080301

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text


Intricate patterns of stones and mud are often found to decorate the ground in alpine and polar landscapes. In his Perspective, Mann highlights the explanation for these patterns offered by Kessler and Werner on the basis of a self-organization model. Acting over centuries, simple physical mechanisms such as the upfreezing of stones can produce the observed patterns wherever the ground repeatedly freezes and thaws.