Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)



First Advisor

Dr. John R. Reid


Cracks appearing in vegetation-free areas and on level surfaces in the vicinity of Grand Forks, North Dakota were investigated during the winter and spring months of 1964. The width of these cracks was measured to determine if there was any significant change in their size that would correspond to a change in temperature.

It was determined that there is a linear relationship between the temperature and the width of the cracks, and if recording and observing errors could be eliminated, the values would have much more significance in subsequent investigations.

After an extensive review of the literature, several possible means of origin are proposed. It was determined that a correlation exists between these contraction fissures that appear in the frozen soil in the winter months in North Dakota, and similar structures, ice wedges, that are present in the permafrost regions of the world.