Says the guy from the Sunbelt. :grin:The pics posted are not necessarily expansion/contraction related.
I agree that poor backfilling can be the cause of the pull apart but in areas that get real winters what is pictured commonly happens from freezing thawing cycles as well.
Here is a road experiencing 'frost heaves'
Here is a sidewalk
When your yard pushes up around the house in the winter and then settles back down in the spring you can get risers pulling out of meter sockets.