Landforms Produced by Glacier Part 2

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Landforms Produced by Glacier

The topographical features made by action of glaciers are frequently found spread over in areas once affected by glacial action.

Erosional Work of Glacier: When a glacier moves over the land, it drags rock fragments, gravel and sand along with it. These rock fragments become efficient erosive tools. With their help glacier scrapes and scours the surface rocks with which it comes in contact. The landforms created by glacial erosion are:

Processes of Glacial Erosion

Processes of Glacial Erosion

Processes of Glacial Erosion

Cirque or Corrie: The snow collects at the upper end in a bowl-shaped depression, is termed cirque. Layers of snow in the process of compaction and recrystallization are known as firm. Sometimes the deepest parts of these hollows are occupied by accumulated-water to form Corrie Lake or Tarn.

Corrie or Cirque

Corrie or Cirque

Corrie or Cirque

U-Shaped Valley: The glacier deepens and widens a pre-existing valley by smoothening away the irregularities. In this process the glacier broadens the sides of the valley. The shape of the valley formed in this manner resembles the letter ‘U’. Such a valley is relatively straight, has a flat floor and nearly vertical sides.

Hanging Valley: The tributary glaciers join the main glacier after moving over their mountainous path. The tributary glaciers like the main glaciers carve U-shaped valleys. They have less volume of ice than the main glaciers and their rate of erosion is less rapid. As a result, their valleys are smaller and not as deep as that of the main glacier. Due to this difference in deepening, the valleys of the tributary glaciers are left at a higher level than that of the main glacier. The valleys of the tributary glaciers look like hanging downwards at the point of its confluence with the main valley. This type of a topographical feature is known as a hanging valley. This feature is visible when ice has melted in both the valleys. When the ice in the hanging valley melts, a waterfall is formed at the point of confluence of this stream with the main river.

Glacial Hanging Valley

Glacial Hanging Valley

Glacial Hanging Valley

Transportation Work of Glacier: The glacier moves very slowly, but it drags with it, large boulders and rock fragments. Glacier gets this material from the mountain slopes, valley sides, and valley bottom. This material is known as the load of the glacier.

Depositional Work of Glacier: As the glacier melts or retreats, it deposits its load in different parts. The debris deposited are called moraines. Depending upon their location in the valley, moraines are divided into four types:

Terminal Moraine: As the glacier melts, the debris are deposited at the end of the valley glacier in the form of a ridge. It is termed terminal moraine. The morainic material ranges from fine clay to large angular boulders.

Lateral Moraine: The moraine which is deposited on either side of a glacier is termed lateral moraine.

Medial Moraine: Moraines formed on the confluence of two glaciers are termed medial moraines.

Ground Moraine: It consists of deposits left behind in the areas once covered by glaciers. It is only seen after the glacial ice has disappeared by melting.

Different Types of Moraines

Different Types of Moraines

Different Types of Moraines

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