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The Erosional and Depositional Landforms that Result from Rivers and Glaciers Essay


The forces that the earth possesses have the ability of moving tectonic plates, in turn, creating volcanoes and ranges. These forces whose energy is obtained from the sun, have the ability of destroying mountain chains. This paper aims at discussing numerous erosional and depositional landforms, which appeared as a result of glaciers and rivers.

Some of the erosional landforms are arete, cirque, col, groove, hanging valley, headwall, horn, paternoster lakes, striations, tarn, truncated spur, and u- shaped valley (Peizhen, Peter and William 894).

An arete refers to a bedrock ridge that has sharp edges and steep sides. It is formed of two glaciers, which are located on opposite sides of the ridge. A col refers to a little spot that is found either on an arête or cirque.

A cirque is a bedrock feature, which can be either in the form of amphitheater or it can be semicircular-shaped. They are formed when glaciers are scouring in the mountains. The ice that leads to the development of the glacier accumulates here first. In other words, a cirque is glacier’s headwaters. The headwall is a cirque’s steep back- wall (Benn et al 380).

Paternoster lakes refer to a long sequence of lakes, which are found in a glacial valley. A horn refers to a mountain peak, which is shaped like a pyramid, and which appears as a result of erosion of several glaciers at various sides of a mountain. A tarn refers to a glacial lake, which is formed as a result of scouring. Tarns are usually common in cirques. A truncated spur refers to a split, which is created as glaciers are forming valley. A U- shaped valley is also referred to as a glacial trough, and it is a valley that is eroded glacially.

There are several types of moraines, which constitute depositional landforms. A moraine refers to the collection of unconsolidated materials, which result from glaciers. The various types of moraines have different appearances (Fort 107). In end moraines, the material gathers at the schnozzle end. In ground moraines, the material gathers right under the glacier’s foundation. Finally, in medial moraines, the moraine is at the middle and its top.

Apart from moraines, other depositional landforms include esker, kame, and outwash fan. A kame is a hillock with an irregular shape. An outwash fan refers to a braided stream, which begins from the front side of a glacier (Milton 4040).

As opposed to a river, a glacier entirely fills a valley. Therefore, a glacier possesses more eroding power. It is not necessarily that a glacier winds around intertwining spurs. Moreover, its valleys can be subjected to other transformations. A misfit stream refers to an extremely minute stream at a glacial trough’s bottom, which is usually too minute to form the valley.

In conclusion, it must be highlighted that there are various types of erosional and depositional landforms that are associated with the creation of glaciers and rivers. Their study is extremely vital taking into consideration the continuous formation of volcanoes. In order to comprehend rivers and glaciers, there is a need to study them comprehensively. This allows the differentiation of minute and stringent characteristics and features. In this regard, geologists have a demanding role in ensuring differentiation of the various landforms.

Works Cited

Benn, Douglas I., et al. “Glaciated valley land systems.” Glacial landsystems (2003): 372-406. Print.

Fort, Monique. “Glaciers and mass wasting processes: their influence on the shaping of the Kali Gandaki valley (higher Himalaya of Nepal).” Quaternary International 65 (2000): 101-119. Print.

Milton, Daniel J. “Water and processes of degradation in the Martian landscape.”Journal of Geophysical Research 78.20 (1973): 4037-4047. Print.

Peizhen, Zhang, Peter Molnar, and William R. Downs.”Increased sedimentation rates and grain sizes 2–4 Myr ago due to the influence of climate change on erosion rates.”Nature 410.6831 (2001): 891-897. Print.

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IvyPanda. "The Erosional and Depositional Landforms that Result from Rivers and Glaciers." December 23, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-erosional-and-depositional-landforms-that-result-from-rivers-and-glaciers/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "The Erosional and Depositional Landforms that Result from Rivers and Glaciers." December 23, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-erosional-and-depositional-landforms-that-result-from-rivers-and-glaciers/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'The Erosional and Depositional Landforms that Result from Rivers and Glaciers'. 23 December.

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