Glaciers

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arête

a sharp, narrow ridge between adjacent valleys that was formed by glacial erosion.

basal slip

movement of the entire mass of a glacier along the bedrock

cirque

a steep-walled semicircle depression eroded into a mountain peak by a glacier

crevasse

a fracture or crack in the upper 40-50 meters of a glacier

fjord

a long, deep, narrow arm of the sea bounded by steep walls, generally formed by submergence of a glacially eroded valley

glacial striation

parallel grooves and scratches in bedrock that form as rocks are dragged along at the base of a glacier.

horn

a sharp, pyramid-shaped rock summit where three or more cirques intersect near the summit

ice fall

a section of a glacier that flows down a steep gradient, so that the ice fractures into numerous crevasses and towering ice pinnacles

iceberg

a section of a glacier that flows down a steep gradient so that the ice fractures into numerous crevasses and towering ice pinnacles

paternoster lake

one of a series of lakes, strung out like beads and connected by short streams and waterfalls, created by glacial erosion

plastic flow

(a way for glaciers to move) ice flows like a liquid

snow line

the altitude on an alpine glacier about which there is permeable snow. the boundary between the zone of accumulation and the zone of aldation.

tarn

a small lake at the base of a cirque

terminus

the end, or foot, of a glacier

zone of ablation

the lower-altitude part of an alpine glacier where more snow melts in the summer than accumulates in winter.

zone of accumulation

the higher-altitude section of an alpine glacier where more snow falls in winter than melts in summer, and where snow accumulates from year to year

calving

when a glacier flows into an ocean and large chunks fall off

plucking

when a glacier picks up chunks of rock

kettle lake

glaciers that had chunks of the glacier break off then melts creating lakes

esker

the thin mound of till from stream running under a glacier

erratic

a boulder that was transported to its present location by a glacier. usually different from the bedrock in its immediate vicinity.

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