Glacial Features

Glacial Erosion; Landforms as a result of Glaciation; Transportation and Deposition

For GCSE AQA Geography (A) - Ice on the Land

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  • Created by: Patrick I
  • Created on: 09-06-11 14:01
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Ice on the Land Geography
Glacial Erosion
The weight of the ice in a glacier causes it to advance
(move downhill), eroding the landscape as it moves
The movement of the ice erodes the landscape in two
main ways:
o Plucking ­ Melt water at the base, back or
sides of the glacier freezes onto the rock, and
when the glacier moves forward, bits of rock
are pulled `plucked' out. Most effective on
areas which have been previously weathered,
and which have protruding rocks. This leaves a
jagged landscape
o Abrasion ­ Rock fragments embedded in the base of the glacier are forced into the
bedrock below as the glacier moves ­ due to the weight and pressure of the glacier
above. This causes a sandpapering effect, and leaves parallel striations indicating
direction of movement.
The rock above glaciers is also weathered by the conditions of the glacier. Freeze-thaw
weathering is common, and is a result of water getting into cracks in the rock, then freezing
and expanding. The puts pressure on the rock, and as the process is repeated it can lead to
cracks forming and the rock breaking apart
Rotational slip describes the circular motion of the glacier, as it does not always move in a
straight line. This can erode hollows in the landscape and deepen them into bowl shapes.

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Ice on the Land Geography
Landforms from Glacial Erosion
An arête is a steep sided ridge form when two glaciers flow in parallel valleys. The glaciers
erode the valley sides, `sharpening' the ridge between them
Pyramidal Peak
A pyramidal peak is a pointed mountain peak with at least three sides ­ i.e. three or more
back-to-back glaciers eroding a mountain
Corries begin as hollows containing a small glacier.…read more

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Ice on the Land Geography
Glacial Transport and Deposition
Glaciers can move material such as rocks and earth over very large distances, known as
Material transported by a glacier is either suspended in it, on top of it or is pushed by the
glacier.…read more

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Ice on the Land Geography
Drumlins are large elongated hills of glacial deposits (till), which are round, blunt and steep
and the upstream (stoss) end, and tapered, pointed and gently sloping at the downstream
(lee slope) end
The largest drumlins can be over 1000m long, 500m wide and 50m high
It is difficult to tell exactly how drumlins form, but it is most likely a result of the ice becoming
overloaded with sediment
The point of deposition is seen as the point the glacier…read more


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