• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Distinguish between the processes of erosion and weathering in an area undergoing glaciation.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Distinguish between the processes of erosion and weathering in an area undergoing glaciation. Erosion is defined as the removal and transport of earth materials by natural agents and can be split into two main categories. Abrasion (or corrasion) is the glacier's use of angular debris, held by the ice, to scrape away at the underlying rock. Evidence of this in an area undergoing glaciation are scratches on rock known as striations. Plucking involves the glacier freezing on to blocks of rock and pulling them away. Meltwater will assist in this plucking process: pressure builds up behind a protrusion of rock and so causes melting. The meltwater penetrates any cracks and freezes around the rock (regelation) which is then pulled out by the glacier. Weathering is similar to erosion in that it includes the breakup of rocks, just not the transportation of the materials formed as does erosion. The specific definition of weathering is the breakup of rock due to exposure to the atmosphere. The weathering of a rock by freeze-thaw action (or frost shattering) may break up rock in periglacial conditions before glaciers advance. At the early stage of corrie formation freeze-thaw action and possibly chemical weathering will weather rock beneath the accumulating patch of snow (the process of nivation). ...read more.

Middle

In many upland areas, glacial breaches and troughs often form the only routeways suitable for communication by land. This situation is exemplified in the Highlands of Scotland where communications links by land north, and west of the Glen More are extremely difficult. Much of the land surface lies over 1000 metres above sea level, and consists of rugged mountains with steep, precipitous slope and badly drained moorlands. The presence of numerous lochs and fjords, hemmed in between high mountains, has effectively prevented any significant north-south routes being developed, even along the coast. Glacial breaches across the major watersheds form the only realistic routeways. Only two railway lines traverse the region -from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh via Glen Carron and from Fort William to Mallaig via Lochs Eil and Ailort. All of the road links between Glen More and the west coast rely on glacial breaches which connect westwards and eastwards facing troughs. Glaciated highlands with high snowfalls present hazards such as avalanches. As the pressure of development increases, as in skiing areas, the impact of avalanches on people and settlements becomes greater. They are caused when the snow pack is destabilised suddenly by a loss of cohesion between naturally forming layers in the snow. ...read more.

Conclusion

Water which is used for HEP is not wasted, it then carries on down the valley. If the valleys are dammed, and the shape of the glacial troughs makes this very straightforward, then the water can be collected and sent to cities in areas of the country where there is perhaps not as much rain as in the highland areas. Glaciers impact human activity here by provide drinking water direct in some areas: rivers like the Rhine and Rhone are fed from glaciers. There is a fear that they may dry up if global warming melts the Alpine glaciers. People in La Paz, Bolivia have water from nearby glacier as public supply. People in the Rhone valley channel glacial meltwater to irrigate their crops. Llyn Peris is a moraine dammed overdeepened ribbon lake, and provides water for Llanberis in N. Wales. Lake Vyrnwy in mid Wales occupies a glacial trough which was flooded in 1889 by building a dam across the valley. Glacially eroded landforms affect human activity both positively and negatively. Avalanches expose inhabitants of the area to great risk, however, they still choose to live there. The positives include tourism, an industry which at present day is thriving and the attractions of these areas owe much to the effects of glaciation. HEP power provides areas with renewable energy and areas with drinking water and natural routeways are provided by glacial erosion. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Atmosphere & Weathering section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Atmosphere & Weathering essays

  1. How Do humans Effect The rate of Weathering

    As well as soils being exposed we find that rock faces previously covered by vegetation become exposed when it is removed. Rocks are then open to all types of physical weathering including chemical acid rain weathering and biological weathering. These break down and then rocks that could have been used

  2. Outline the challenges and opportunities for human activity in present peri-glacial environments

    force the stones above them to rise until eventually they reach the surface. Both of these processes make the land difficult to plough and to be cultivated, as stones would have to be constantly removed from the land to allow for plant growth.

  1. A comparison of Fluvial and Glacial Sediments (deposits) In the Glen Rosa area of ...

    * And the orientation of the B axis. * And composition ( rock type ) The orientation is the alignment of the B axis. River deposits are measured on a slip off slope and glacial deposits in a terminal moraine, with the following expectations: * Water borne sediment will be

  2. The aim of this project was to investigate what differences exist in temperatures in ...

    more concentrated on the point it lands on, rather than being spread out, because it hits the Earth at a great angle, as is the case at dusk. During the night, the Sun is not present in the sky, and so the area experiencing night is cooler than it was

  1. Atmospheric Processes - Depressions

    This increase in stability results in the creation of more stratiform clouds and there is not as much rain. The opposite can occurs during an Anofront, as the troposphere is higher and weather is more pronounced, with cumuli formed clouds more evident, resulting in higher winds and more rain.

  2. Peri-glacial areas

    Valleys Wind Windblown Loess Stone Polygons are a result of frost heave, which includes several processes causing either fine grained soils such as silts and clays to expand to form small domes, or individual stones within the soil to be moved to the surface.

  1. Rain by Somerset Maugham - Comment on the significance of the recurrent image of ...

    However, when the description of the rain returns, we are told before it that the rain was beginning to 'get on his nerves'. This in itself is interesting as it shows he is getting irritable due to the rain,

  2. Describe The Problem Of Global Warming

    The problem of drought would be frequent. Consequently, malnutrition and starvation will pose serious challenge before humanity. Global warming is a great threat to the flora and fauna of the earth. A large number of species of them may become extinct.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work