During the Younger Dryas, the Lake District was covered by plateau icefields and cirque glaciers. The image below shows the larger plateau icefields (green) and the smaller cirque glaciers (red) in the Lake District and Snowdonia.
You can explore all of the locations in this page using the Younger Dryas Glacial Map. This version of the map is focused on the Lake District.
These ice masses left behind numerous moraines as they retreated. The image below (credit Dr Richard Waller) shows some 360º imagery of a fabulous set of hummocky moraines in Greenup Gill, near Borrowdale, in the Central Lake District. These glacial landforms show the retreat of a small plateau icefield outlet glacier during the Loch Lomond Stadial[1,3].
The moraines show the retreat of the glacier all the way up onto the plateau, showing the active retreat of this plateau icefield. The continuous moraine sequences shows that the outlet glacier retreated towards its plateau source area without becoming disconnected from the plateau icefield accumulation area.
You can see the mapped moraines of this icefield for yourself in the Younger Dryas Glacial Map.
This 360º image shows a lateral moraine (a moraine formed at the sides of the glacier) in Bannerdale (credit Dr Richard Waller). Bannerdale held a small cirque glacier during the Younger Dryas, with lateral moraines demarcating the glacier limits.
In the image below, the lateral moraine is visible as a linear mound of sediment against the valley side walls, in the immediate foreground. Some glacially transported boulders are visible on the ridge of the moraine.
Haweswater also held a plateau icefield during the Younger Dryas [1,3].
This is a set of moraines above Haweswater (credit Dr Richard Waller). The moraines track the recession of the plateau icefield outlet glaciers onto the upland areas .
You can explore these moraines yourself in Google Earth or in the Younger Dryas Glacial Map. The moraines are visible in the satellite imagery as rounded hummocks with scattered boulders.
The Younger Dryas Glacial Map shows the locations of these moraines, just at the head of Haweswater Reservoir.
Gillercomb, the valley just to the west of Seathwaite (Cumbria), preserves a number of glacier moraines deposited during the Younger Dryas.
The location can be explored in Google Maps. The moraines are visible as the smoothed, elongated mounds in the valley floor.
These moraines were formed during the recession of the plateau icefield that covered this part of Cumbria during the Younger Dryas .
A number of small elongate moraines exist in the bottom of the Derwent river valley, just south of Seathwaite. These moraines have a number of glacially transported boulders on their summits.
Here is the location of the mapped geomorphology:
- Plateau icefield landsystem
- Glacier moraines
- Younger Dryas Glacial Map
- Introduction to Younger Dryas landsystems
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2. Boston, C. M. & Lukas, S. J. Quat. Sci. 34, 433–451 (2019).
3. McDougall, D. A. J. Quat. Sci. Publ. Quat. Res. Assoc. 16, 531–543 (2001).
4. Sissons, J. B. Earth Environ. Sci. Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 71, 13–27 (1980).
5. McDougall, D. Quat. Sci. Rev. 73, 48–58 (2013).
6. McDougall, D. A. (1998). Loch Lomond stadial plateau icefields in the Lake District, northwest England. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.