Glacial Processes

Revision notes on glacial processes for GCSE Geography.

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  • Created on: 21-11-07 08:32
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Glacial Processes
Ice Ages
Last ice age, in Britain, was over 10,000 years ago. Cover higher parts of
Scotland and Wales. Lasted 2000 years. Called Lock Lomond ReAdvance.
Ice Advance
Snow falls is compressed to form firn then neve then ice.
Ice sheets
A moving mass of ice covering the hole land surface over a wide area,
sometimes even a continent.
Valley Glaciers
A glacier that is confined within a valley and follows the route of a
preexisting river valley
When the amount of new snow exceeds the amount being melted.
Accumulation means that the glacier will advance.
When the amount of new snow is less than the amount being melted.
Ablation means the glacier will retreat.
Ice movement
Ice moves from mountains down and outwards following the river
valleys. Ice moves from cooler North to South of Britain.
Freeze thaw and weathering
Freeze thaw is caused when water enters cracks in the rocks, freezes,
expands and breaks the rocks up. This leaves smaller rocks for abrasion.
The tearing away of rocks from the bedrock as the glacier moves. The
glacier has been `glued to the rocks when water has entered the rocks,
through gaps, and frozen.
Rocks and particles embedded in the base and sides of the glacier wear
away the rock over which the glacier passes. Small rocks act as a
sandpaper, whilst larger rocks form grooves called Striations.
Corries and Tarns/ Corrie lake (Red Tarn, Glaslyn)
Corries is formed by snow accumulates in a dip in the mountaintop. It is
compressed and forms ice. Freeze thaw weathering supplies lose rocks

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Abrasion of
the corrie base from rock embedded in the ice, caused by the rotation
slip of the ice and plucking pulls rock from the corrie base. This increases
the size of the corrie. As the glacier has lees energy near the edge of the
corrie, material is deposited there, which forms a lip of rock. Later after
the glacier has melted water is contained in the corrie by the lip, forming
a corrie lake.…read more

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Boulder clay/till
A mixture of material, of different sizes and with irregular shapes, that
have been deposited near the snout of a glacier.
Rock bar
Outcrop of hard rock between rock basin, made of softer rock.
Large boulder dropped by the glacier, of a different rock type than the
rock below it now ­ it has been transported by the glacier.…read more


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