AQA Geography Glacial Landforms

Revision notes describing and explaining the formation of corries, aretes and pyramidal peaks.

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  • Created on: 25-04-12 16:13
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Daniel Ellis
Glacial Landforms ­ Erosional
Shape ­ An armchair shaped rock hollow with a steep back wall and a large over deepened
circular basin and an open front with a rock lip.
Example ­ Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia
Location ­ Found on North/North East facing slopes due to reduced melting so accumulation of
snow occurs. Found in glaciated/post glaciated areas.
- Hollow either contains a glacier or tarn (lake)
- Rock lip at front
- Steep back wall
- Open front
- Bergschrund (large crevasse between backwall and glacier)
Size ­ 1km diameter, 250m high backwall, 60° backwall
- North facing hollow fills with snow
- Accumulated snow is compressed to neve.
- Neve compressed to ice as melt water enters gaps between particles and freezes and a cirque
glacier is formed
- The backwall of the hollow chemically weathered by slightly acidic melt/rain water creating scree
- Freeze thaw weathering also erodes the backwall creating scree
- Scree enters the glacier through the Bergschrund and becomes subglacial debris
- Subglacial debris erodes the base of the hollow by abrasion
- The backwall is steepened by plucking of weak rock (weakened by chemical and freeze thaw
weathering) which then becomes subglacial debris when it is pulled off by ice
- Solifluction can also occur when meltwater mixes with scree on the backwall causing it to slide into
the glacier

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Daniel Ellis
- Dilation can also occur at the base of the corrie when glacial movement causes a release in pressure
so cracks open on the base allowing meltwater to enter and freeze thaw weathering to occur
increasing subglacial debris and therefore increasing abrasion
- An increase in chemical weathering, freeze thaw weathering, dilation, solifluction and plucking will
lead to more abrasion as more subglacial debris will be created
- The glacier moves by rotational movement
- The overall process of nivation creates the corries…read more

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Daniel Ellis
- Scree covered slopes
- The gradients becomes more gradual towards the base due to slumping
Size ­ 1.…read more

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- Dilation can also occur when the glacier moves enabling freeze thaw weathering in cracks…read more


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