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Key Idea

Specification Content

Glacial Environments

The global distribution of cold
environments, polar (land and marine
based), alpine, glacial and periglacial.
Glaciers as systems: glacial budgets.

Glacial Process

Ice movement – types of flow: internal
deformation, rotational, compressional,
extensional and basal sliding; warm and
cold based glaciers.

Glacial Landforms

Glacial processes and landscape
development. Weathering in cold
environments – frost
shattering.Erosional landforms – corries,
arêtes, pyramidal peaks, glacial troughs
and associated features. Depositional
landforms – types of moraine and

Fluvioglacial and Periglacial Fluvioglacial processes – the role of
meltwater erosion and deposition.
processes and landforms

Fluvioglacial landforms – meltwater
channels, kames, eskers and outwash
Periglacial processes – nivation,
permafrost formation, frost heave,
solifluction. Periglacial landforms –
nivation hollows, ice wedges, patterned
ground, pingos and solifluction lobes.



Human uses: Exploitation
and Development

Exploitation and development in tundra
areas and the Southern Ocean.
Traditional economies of an indigenous
population and recent
changes/adaptations. Early resource
exploitation by newcomers – whaling
and/or sealing. More recent
development – oil in Alaska, fishing,
tourism. The concept of fragile
environments. The potential for
sustainable development.
The future of Antarctica – to consider
the contemporary issues of
conservation, protection, development
and sustainability in a wilderness area.

AS Geography
Unit 1: Physical and Human Geography
Cold Environments