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

Using Case Studies And Examples, Describe And Explain The Landforms Found In The Glacial Landscape

Extracts from this document...


Using Case Studies And Examples, Describe And Explain The Landforms Found In The Glacial Landscape It appears that roughly every 200-250 million years in the Earth's history there have been major periods of ice activity. The most recent of these occurred during the Pleistocene period of the Quaternary era. In the 2 million years since the onset of the Quaternary, there have been fluctuations in global temperature of between 5�C and 6�C, which have led to glacials and interglacials. In these periods, glaciers form and create many different landforms, either through erosion or deposition. Glaciers are capable of moving large quantities of debris. The rock debris may be transported in one of three ways: - Supraglacial debris is carried on the surface of the glacier as lateral and medial moraine - Englacial debris is material carried within the body of a glacier - Subglacial debris is moved along the floor of the valley by the ice, or by meltwater streams formed by pressure melting. Ice that is stationary or contains little debris has limited erosive power, whereas moving ice carrying with it much morainic material can drastically alter the landscape. Virtually all the glacial processes of erosion are physical, as the climate tends to be too cold for chemical reactions to take place. There are five main processes associated with glacial erosion: - Frost Shattering - Abrasion - Plucking - Rotational Movement - Extending and Compressing Flow These processes produce many different landforms. ...read more.


This left an enlarged hollow, which the glacier could form in. The glaciers that occupy cirques are called cirque glaciers. Horns are pyramidal peaks that form when several cirques chisel a mountain from three or more sides. The most famous horn is the Matterhorn found in the Swiss Alps. An example of a pyramidal peak is Machhappuchare in Nepal. Ar�tes are the narrow serrated ridges found in glaciated alpine areas. Ar�tes form when two opposing cirques back erode a mountain ridge, such as Striding Edge in the Lake District, or Karakoram Mountains, Northern Pakistan. Talus and other foot-slope deposits are also common in a glaciated valley. Because of the enhancement of freeze-thaw processes bedrock in alpine areas is weathered by the growth of ice crystals. This type of weathering shatters the bedrock into sharp angular fragments that accumulate at the bottom of rock slopes as talus. Much of the debris carried by an alpine glacier comes from valley sides where talus accumulates. The erosional landforms produced by continental glaciers are usually less obvious than those created by alpine glaciers. Like alpine glaciers, the movement of continental glaciers followed topographic trends found in the landscape. Continental ice sheets were very thick, between 1000 to 3000 meters. The mass of these glaciers covered all but the highest features and had extremely strong erosive power. ...read more.


Many kames are often found on or at the edge of moraines. Glaciers can also contain sinuous flows of meltwater that occur in ice tunnels at the base of the ice. The beds of these sub-surface glacial streams are composed of layers of sand and gravel. When the ice melts from around the meltwater tunnels, the beds of sand and gravel are deposited on the Earth's surface as long twisting ridges known as eskers. When glaciers are rapidly retreating, numerous blocks of ice can become detached from the main body of the glacier. If glacial drift is then placed around the ice, a depression on the surface called a kettle holes can be created when the ice melts. Kettle holes are commonly found on moraine and outwash plain deposits. Large kettle holes that reach below the water table can form into lakes. Some very prominent kettle holes are located in the Northwestern District of Mackenzie, NWT, Canada. Some kettle holes develop into wetlands such as bogs, swamps, and marshes. Glacial retreat also creates hill shaped deposits of till known as drumlins. Drumlins often occur in large congregations across areas of New York and Wisconsin, USA and Ontario, Canada. The streamline shape of these glacial features resembles a protracted teaspoon-laying bowl down. The narrow end of the drumlin points to the general direction of glacial retreat. Drumlins also come in a variety of dimensions. Lengths can range from 100 to 5000 meters and heights can sometimes exceed 200 meters. ...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 Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology 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 Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology essays

  1. The Afon Glaslyn, SnowdoniaCase Study of fluvial landforms and processes

    Middle Reaches 9-11km * Processes + Landforms same as 4-6.5km 11-14km * Processes In this section erosion and deposition are the most common processes because the river is either nearly at its equilibrium or just below it. * Landforms In this secrion meanders, floodplains and braiding are the landforms.

  2. Fluvioglacial Landforms

    gain enough energy to transport large pieces of debris over long distances. As the discharge of the river decreases so does its ability to carry its' load and so deposition begins to occur allowing numerous landforms to be shaped. Outwash (or Sandur)

  1. Do the Characteristics of a river change downstream?

    One main occurrence in the results was that just under half of the examples picked up at each site were sandstone. This shows that sandstone occurs all the way through the upper and middle course of the river. My prediction states that 'there will be a larger variety of matter at the River Wharfe than at Backstone Beck.'

  2. "Glaciated Uplands are landscapes of erosion: glaciated lowlands are landscapes of deposition" examine the ...

    The geology of the valley also played an important part in its formation, as the rock is part of the hard baked margin making it harder to erode. There are also many depositional features that occur in lowland areas like the statement suggests.

  1. fluvioglacial and glacial variations

    These features, although formed very differently can be confused due to their similarity in appearance. However in the field there are many differentiations which can distinguish between features formed by different processes. Two features which are commonly mixed up are kames and drumlins.

  2. Free essay

    Movement of Ice Sheets during the last glacial advance in the UK

    The first of these glacial landforms is the armchair shaped Cirques (or Corries) These are hollows which are found on upland mountainsides which have a steep back wall, a deep basin and a lip at the front that is either made of solid rock or deposited moraine.

  1. To what extent are fluvio-glacial deposits and landforms distinctive?

    Due to the particular conditions and temperature changes required for this to happen this process occurs in very specific areas. Abrasion is where the ice, or glacier, wears the rock away gradually, similar to the effect of sand paper on wood.

  2. Examine how a glacier operates as a system (25)

    During colder months, there?s more accumulation than ablation. Over the year this might balance out, the glacier advances in winter but retreats in summer, so overall the volume of water in the glacier remains the same. Although changes in global temperature can have a profound effect on the glacial budget.

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