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Glacier Terms

Erratics

Large glacial boulders that have been transported into an area.

Eskers

Long, winding ridges formed when sand and gravel fill meltwater tunnels beneath a glacier.

Firn

Partially compacted and refrozen snow which has yet to become a glacier.

Kames

Small, cone shaped hills formed at the glacial front by meltwater pouring sediment off the glaciers surface.

Kettles

Circular hollows left in an outwash plain when a buried ice block melts.

Moraine

Accumulation of glacial till.

Outwash

Sediment deposited in front of a glacier by streams of meltwater.

Outwash Plains

Broad, stratified, gently sloping deposit of sediment formed beyond the terminal moraine by streams from melting glacier.

Rock Flour

Fine sand and silt formed by the crushing of rock beneath a glacier.

Snow Line

The lowest level of permanent reaches in summer.

Striations

Scratches left on rocks and bedrock by glacier movement.

Till

Unsorted and unstratified rock materials carried in the bottom of a glacier.

Valley Glacier

A long, slow moving, wedge shaped stream of ice.

Arete

Sharp divide that separates two adjoining cirques.

Cirque

A semicircular basin formed at the head of a glacial valley.

Crevasses

Great fissures or crack in a glacier.

Drumlins

Long, canoe shaped hills made of till and shaped by an advancing glacier.

Glacial Trough

A U-shaped valley formed by glacial erosion.

Ice Caps

Small ice sheets, and was found in Iceland.

Ice Sheet

Another name for a continental glacier.

Calving

process by which a block of glacier breaks off and falls into the sea to form and iceberg.

Continental Glacier

A large sheet of ice covering a large part of a continent.

Horn

Pyramid-shaped peak formed where 3 or more cirques meet.

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