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[ping-goh] /ˈpɪŋ goʊ/
noun, plural pingos. Geology
a hill of soil-covered ice pushed up by hydrostatic pressure in an area of permafrost.
a hill of similar origin remaining after the melting of permafrost.
1925-30; < Inuit pinguq Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pingo
  • The water pressure pushes upward an area of thin frozen sediment to form the core of a pingo.
British Dictionary definitions for pingo


noun (pl) -gos
a mound of earth or gravel formed through pressure from a layer of water trapped between newly frozen ice and underlying permafrost in Arctic regions
Word Origin
C20: from Inuktitut
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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pingo in Science
Plural pingos or pingoes
A large mound or dome of ice covered with soil. Pingos are about 30 to 50 m (98 to 164 ft) high and up to 400 m (1,312 ft) in diameter and are found in Arctic regions. They are believed to form in basins (such as drained lake beds) as a result of the freezing and upward expansion of water held in subsurface soil, which initiates the doming, as well as by the rising and freezing of water trapped beneath or within the permafrost, as a result of hydrostatic pressure.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for pingo

dome-shaped hill formed in a permafrost area when the hydrostatic pressure of freezing groundwater causes the upheaval of a layer of frozen ground. Pingos may be up to 90 metres (300 feet) high and over 800 metres (12 mile) across and are usually circular or oval. The core, which may be only slightly smaller than the pingo itself, consists of a lens of clear, injected ice. Modern pingos occur in the continental tundras and are generally restricted to latitudes of 65 to 75 N. Rupture of the overlying material at the top of the pingo exposes the ice to melting and may create a smaller crater and lake. Two types are recognized, the open-system pingo and the closed-system pingo.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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