thermokarst
 n.— «Nearby were the outlines of other, even bigger holes, which, Romanovsky told me, had been filled with gravel by the local public-works department. The holes, known as thermokarsts, had appeared suddenly when the permafrost gave way, like a rotting floorboard.» —“The Climate Of Man” by Elizabeth Kolbert New Yorker Apr. 18, 2005. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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