crocodiling
n. The process that causes cracks to appear in road pavement.

Example Citations:
Fissuring: The formation of cracks caused when asphalt binders fail to hold pavement materials together; common when cold temperatures freeze road beds solid. Also known as crocodiling.
—Mark Jewell, “Heroic Measures,” Chicago Tribune, June 11, 2000

The evaluation of the surface condition with regard to the bearing performance will be carried out by means of the following condition indicators:

* Crocodiling, crack accumulation (also longitudinal cracks besides the wheel passes but not thermally induced transversal cracks).
—Klaus Muller, “Directies for the Stsndardisation of Pavements of Traffic Areas,” Government of Malta Ministry for Transport and Communications, July 11, 2000

Earliest Citation:
A drive down Northwest Boulevard near Maple Street finds a thin layer of newer asphalt peeling away to reveal the faded, pitted road below. Parallel grooves grab tires. Cracks in the pavement — known to traffic engineers as “crocodiling” — give way to gaping holes that jar drivers.
—Kristina Johnson, “A jarring reality,” The Spokesman-Review, March 16, 2000

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