A major type of mass movement in cold polar regions and some high mountains. Solifluction is a special type of creep that occurs in areas of permafrost. Permafrost refers to the layer of groundwater that fills in the pore spaces of soil and rock that is permanently frozen. The permafrost layer can be anywhere from a meter to several hundred meters thick. It takes up about 20% of the world's land. In times of warm weather, the ground will begin to thaw from the surface downward. All of the freshly melted water cannot absorb into or move through the permafrost layer. This causes the upper layer of soil and regolith to become saturated and flow down the slightest of slopes as it slips over the frozen ground underneath.
Another visible aspect of solifluction areas is cryoturbation.
cryoturbation, "small ridges and mounds of bare
soil are produced by the processes of frost churning
(cryoturbation) and soil flow (solifluction). Freeze-thaw
generates a circular motion in the surface material,
heaving the soil to the surface (the light- coloured
areas) and dragging it down at the margins to form gutters
(the darker, vegetated areas). The process creates a
network of circular patches which, on slopes, are stretched
into long stripes by an additional creeping movement.
Flowing water then deepens the gutters." (Terrain