Introduction to glacial landforms

Glaciers are one of the most powerful forces shaping our local landscape. As glaciers flow downhill from mountains to the lowlands, they erode, transport, and deposit materials, forming a great array of glacial landforms. They can erode mountains, and change their morphology. Large glaciers and ice sheets can deposit great swathes of sands and gravels, …

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Glacial geomorphological mapping

This article on glacial geomorphological mapping was written by Dr Benjamin Chandler from Stockholm University. Why do we map glacial landforms? Geomorphological mapping is an important method used by glacial geologists to study the behaviour of past glaciers and ice sheets1. By mapping the distribution of glacial landforms and investigating the spatial relationships between different …

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Active temperate glacier landsystem

Temperate glaciers reach the pressure-melting point throughout, for at least for part of the year. Today, temperate glaciers are found in mild maritime climates such as southern Iceland, western Norway, New Zealand, and southern Chile, where both winter snowfall and summer melt rates are high. Temperate glaciers are often very sensitive to changes in climate …

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Glacial landsystems

“Glacial Landsystems” are assemblages of characteristic glacial sediments and landforms. Different types of glacier deposit different assemblages of these sediments and landforms. The study of glacial landsystems can therefore give us information about the type and style of palaeoglaciers, and give us insights into glacial processes.

Glacial depositional landforms

This section of the website includes many examples of landforms created underneath and around the margins of glaciers. These depositional landforms typically form in two domains: subglacial landforms and ice-marginal landforms. Subglacial landforms include: A continuum of lineated bedforms, ranging from small scale (flutes), through to intermediate scale (10s of metres; Drumlins), through to large …

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Patagonian Ice Sheet at the LGM

What was the former Patagonian Ice Sheet? The Patagonian Ice Sheet was a large, elongated mountain ice mass that developed over the Andes mountains of southern South America during cold periods[1]. The Patagonian Ice Sheet has advanced and retreated at least 5 times in the last million years[2] in response to changes in global climate (i.e. …

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Palaeo ice sheet reconstruction

Why should we reconstruct past ice sheets? | The past is the key to the future | How do we reconstruct past ice-sheet change? | How do we relate ice-sheet change to climate? | Further Reading | Comments | Why should we reconstruct past ice sheets? Glacial geologists love to go out into the field, …

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Glacial landforms

Glaciers have a huge impact on our landscape. They are one of the most powerful forces shaping our Earth surface. These pages introduce some of the most important erosional and depositional landforms, and highlight the processes by which they form. Glaciers of different types produce different suites of characteristic landforms. We call these glacial landsystems. …

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