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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


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


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


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.


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


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.


a small lake at the base of a cirque


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


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


when a glacier picks up chunks of rock

kettle lake

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


the thin mound of till from stream running under a glacier


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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