Vapour outflow from frozen soil, as well as ground temperatures and moisture content profiles, were measured over the winter at two sites near Mayo, Yukon, Canada. At one site, where permafrost is present, outflow apparently ceased by late March, but at the other site, where there is only seasonal frost, flow continued throughout the season. Vapour pressure gradients were calculated from the temperature data, and diffusion coefficients for the frozen soils determined. These estimates are orders-of-magnitude higher than those reported in the literature. Consequently, an alternative explanation of the fluxes through frozen soil is given in terms of liquid flow in adsorbed water films along the temperature gradient.
Cold Regions Science and Technology
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Smith, M.W. (M. W.), & Burn, C. (1987). Outward flux of vapour from frozen soils at Mayo, Yukon, Canada: Results and interpretation. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 13(2), 143–152. doi:10.1016/0165-232X(87)90052-8