Creeping soils

One of the most spectacular sights in the high alpine zones are these slow moving creeping soils, splaying out like tongues across the slopes.

These drop-shaped rings form when the surface layers of the soil thaw; as they become waterlogged, they ooze downhill over the still frozen subsoil. This process is called solifluction. Unlike rock glaciers, creeping soils are not necessarily linked with permafrost. Creeping soils are common in the National Park between 2300 and 2700m altitude.

Depending on the steepness of the slope, active creeping soils move several centimetres downhill per year. Inactive creeping soils are generally more covered by vegetation than active creeping soils.

In the region between Munt Buffalora and Munt la Schera (route 15) there are a number of partially active creeping soils. These unusual landscape elements are the subject of scientific research.