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

Alpine Glaciers

Ice that flows down mountain valleys

(e.g. in the Alps!)



Bergschrund at head of a glacier above Chamonix that flows to lower elevations, nearly reaching the main valley in which Chamonix lies


Mer de Glace above Chamonix - note ogives that flows to lower elevations, nearly reaching the main valley in which Chamonix lies



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 from the fine particles embedded in the ice in the foreground, to the huge angular boulder in the background

U-shaped valleys

Cirques, Aretes, Horns

Moraines

Striations


Mer de glace
Mer de Glace from the fine particles embedded in the ice in the foreground, to the huge angular boulder in the background

  • 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


Fjord - a glacially eroded valley invaded by the sea from the fine particles embedded in the ice in the foreground, to the huge angular boulder in the background


Cirques are high basins where alpine glaciers originate from the fine particles embedded in the ice in the foreground, to the huge angular boulder in the background

Horn

Arete

Cirque


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.


Iceberg Lake (Glacier National Park, MT) occupies a cirque cirques that have eroded into the mountain, leaving only a fairly narrow, jagged peak.

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


Portage Glacier (AK) - note lateral and medial moraines cirques that have eroded into the mountain, leaving only a fairly narrow, jagged peak.


Medial moraines form where glacial tributaries merge cirques that have eroded into the mountain, leaving only a fairly narrow, jagged peak.


End moraines form at the terminus of a glacier cirques that have eroded into the mountain, leaving only a fairly narrow, jagged peak.


Cirques with small residual glaciers in the Lyman Valley, WA cirques that have eroded into the mountain, leaving only a fairly narrow, jagged peak.

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 cirques that have eroded into the mountain, leaving only a fairly narrow, jagged peak.

  • 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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