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Glacial Features and Landscapes

The Antarctic landmass is covered by ice-sheets and very little of the land is visible; only the highest
peaks can be seen. Very slowly, these ice-sheets move down to lower latitude and melt. Chunks of
them break off and float out to sea.

Ice permanently covers…

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A cirque, corrie or cwm is an `amphitheatre' formation of rock. Snow settles in small hollows on
mountains encouraging freeze-thaw and chemical weathering. The underlying rock disintegrates.

Pyrimidal Peak

If three or more cirques erode into each
other, a peak may be formed with several
arêtes radiating from it. A…

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There are two types of valleys formed by glacial erosion: U-shaped valleys and hanging valleys.

U-shaped Valleys

These are the original V-shaped valleys
that have been widened by the glacier.
The movement of the ice causes
over-deepening of the valley floor, as
the meltwater and subglacial debris
have a…

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Ribbon Lakes

If some parts of the glacier are more erosive than others, they may over-deepen parts of the valley
floor. When the glacier melts, a long, deep ribbon lake forms on the floor of the valley.


This is a very steep wall of bare rock found at the…

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Scree Slope

A scree slope is made up of rocks that have been weathered or eroded and fallen from the valley

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Boulder Clay

This is a random mix of boulders, rocks, sand and clay. The material is transported either on top of or
inside the glacier, and deposited at the base of the valley as the glacier moves. Some of the rocks
are ground down into clay.


Drumlins are formed…

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There are quite a few types of moraines: lateral moraines, terminal moraines, medial moraines. They
are the same thing, but found in different places on the glacier. A moraine is just a string of mounds
of debris being carried along by the glacier. The debris can come from scree…

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Words to Know
Ablation Zone:
The area of a glacier where mass is lost through melting or evaporation at a
greater rate than snow and ice accumulate.
Accumulation zone:
The area of a glacier where mass is increased through snowfall at a greater
rate than snow and ice is lost…

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A U-shaped valley carved out of a V-shaped stream valley by the movement
of a valley glacier.
The transformation of the landscape through the action of glaciers.
A large body of ice that formed on land by the compaction and
re-crystallisation of snow, survives year to year, and…

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The elevation above which snow can form and remain all year.
The long, parallel scratches and grooves produced in rocks underneath a
glacier as it moves over them.
A small lake that fills the central depression in a cirque.
Terminal moraine:
A moraine found near the terminus of…


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