Revision notes on the processes of glaciation for Geography courses.

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Hanging Valley
A hanging valley is when a tributary valley is eroded by glaciers at a slower rate. Because of
this, the tributary valley is high off the main valleys floor and looks as if it is `hanging'
U shaped valley
This is caused when a glacier moves through the valley, the rocks at the bottom of the
glacier eroding the valley floor so it becomes flat. This forms the U shape
Ribbon Lake
A ribbon lake is formed when a glacier passes over bands of hard and soft rock. The soft rock
is eroded faster, leaving a dip in the ground which then fills up with water
Truncated spur
A truncated spur is a spur which has had its end eroded by a glacier
How glaciers form
1. Snowflakes collect or accumulate in a hollow in the mountainside.
2. More and more snow falls on top the flakes, gradually compressing it, increasing the
density, until after a year or more, snowflakes become a more compact and rounded
substance called firn.
3. With more snowfalls, the weight compresses the firn together into solid ice of a
much greater density.
4. If the ice does not melt and snow continues to fall, the ice mass will become bigger
and heavier. Then the force of gravity causes this large ice mass to move downhill,
very slowly.
5. As the glacier moves it erodes the landscape on either side and underneath it,
altering the landscape.
Processes of erosion by glaciation
Freeze thaw ­ When water goes into a crack and freezes, the water expands cracking
the rock
Plucking ­ When rocks and stones are frozen to the base of the glacier and are
removed from the ground when the glacier moves
Abrasion ­ When rocks picked up by the glacier erodes the ground

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Snow will fall in a small hollow, and as more snow falls it is compressed into ice
Frost shattered fragments fall onto ice
Rock fragments freeze into ice at back and base of corrie
Glacier begins to move downhill due to weight
Back wall made steeper by erosion
Base of corrie made deeper by abrasion and plucking
Material is deposited on lip of corrie…read more


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