Cryptobiotic soil or soil crust

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Those familiar with soil crusts in the desert might be surprised to see them in such a different environment. I was! Cryptobiotic soil is the mat that an entire ecology of organisms form which hold some soils together. In the desert, these crusts can be very old and fragile: footprints can last dcades. Cool to see this at the Coffee Glacier in the Alaska Range!

Those familiar with soil crusts in the desert might be surprised to see them in such a different environment. I was! Cryptobiotic soil is the mat that an entire ecology of organisms form which hold some soils together. In the desert, these crusts can be very old and fragile: footprints can last dcades. Cool to see this at the Coffee Glacier in the Alaska Range!