Alpine glaciers
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Alpine Glaciers. Ice that flows down mountain valleys (e.g. in the Alps!). Mont Blanc, near Chamonix, France - note the alpine glacier that flows to lower elevations, nearly reaching the main valley in which Chamonix lies. Bergschrund at head of a glacier above Chamonix.

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Alpine Glaciers

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Alpine glaciers

Alpine Glaciers

Ice that flows down mountain valleys

(e.g. in the Alps!)


Alpine glaciers

  • Mont Blanc, near Chamonix, France - note the alpine glacier that flows to lower elevations, nearly reaching the main valley in which Chamonix lies


Alpine glaciers

Bergschrund at head of a glacier above Chamonix


Alpine glaciers

Mer de Glace above Chamonix - note ogives


Alpine glaciers

Rockfalls from the valley walls add debris to the glacier’s surface


Alpine glaciers

Glaciers are capable of carrying debris of almost any size - from the fine particles embedded in the ice in the foreground, to the huge angular boulder in the background


Landforms of alpine glaciation

Landforms of Alpine Glaciation

U-shaped valleys

Cirques, Aretes, Horns

Moraines

Striations


Mer de glace

Mer de Glace

  • An alpine glacier, whose flow is confined to a valley

  • Such glaciers are very efficient at eroding their valleys, widening and deepening them into classic U-shaped valleys


Alpine glaciers

Fjord - a glacially eroded valley invaded by the sea


Alpine glaciers

Cirques are high basins where alpine glaciers originate

Horn

Arete

Cirque


Alpine glaciers

The Grand Teton (WY) is a classic horn - note several small cirques that have eroded into the mountain, leaving only a fairly narrow, jagged peak.


Alpine glaciers

Iceberg Lake (Glacier National Park, MT) occupies a cirque

The sheer rock face at the back of the cirque is an arete - a narrow ridge between two cirques that have eroded back into the mountain from opposite sides


Alpine glaciers

Portage Glacier (AK) - note lateral and medial moraines


Alpine glaciers

Medial moraines form where glacial tributaries merge


Alpine glaciers

End moraines form at the terminus of a glacier


Alpine glaciers

Cirques with small residual glaciers in the Lyman Valley, WA

Note the end moraines, built of debris deposited by the glaciers when they extended a bit further downslope during the “Little Ice Age” (~1550-1850)


Glacial abrasion

Glacial Abrasion

  • Debris carried at the base of a glacier can smooth and scratch the bedrock it flows over - the scratches are called striations


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