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Lecture 9 – Glaciers and Ice Movements

Features Associated with Glacier

- Partially compacted snow that has been left over from past seasons, also has been recrystallized into a
substance denser than neve

- Between the stage snow and glacial ice

- Found on the top of the glacier

- Has the color blue because it absorbs all colors but reflects back the color blue


- Sudden swell of water in warm weather because the ice melts

- Surges can happen because of the ice melting on the bottom of the glacier

- Melt water is important because it helps the glacier move and resistant free

- Melt water comes from different sources including the super glacial lakes

Glacial Ice

- It is a mixture of ice, rocks, and particles that moves under the influence of gravity

- It forms layers known as folia

- It is well compacted and accumulated water

What is Folia?

Folia is a layer which is formed from crystal deformation (sliding against a surface) which is made up of clear or bubble
ice. It looks like alternating layers of fine grain and coarse grain.

What is a Stranded Ice Berg?

A stranded iceberg is when a piece of ice is broken off its original mass and floats off on its own. The whole chunk of ice
is either floating on its own or stranded on the side of a valley. This can affect the shipping routes because you need to
go around the iceberg. For example the iceberg in Newfoundland

What is Moulin?

A Moulin is a vertical shaft (over 15 feet) that is found in a glacier which is created by surface water going through cracks
(crevasses) in the ice. This happens during summer months when it is warm and the ice begins to melt. The Moulin
helps lubricate the glacier so it makes it easier to slide on the surface.

**Till, drift, and moraine are all similar terms they because mean the sediments that are on the side of the mountain

What is Drift?

Drift is when glacier materials of different sizes, mainly boulders, rocks, stones accumulate along the perimeter of the
glacier. This drift builds layers within the ice, which is also known as till or ground moraine.

What is Till?

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Till is unsorted sediment that is dropped by the glacial ice. The sediments that come from the glacial ice are soft rock
that looks like large angular rock fragments. A Topple Sequence is when the sizes of the rocks are related to the distinct
of the valley. Glacier till is also caused by snow avalanches which moves materials from the valleys sides into the bottom
of the valley.

What is Ground Moraine?

A ground moraine is basically a till-covered area. The glacier moves these loose particles.

What is Terminal Moraine (End Moraine)?

A terminal moraine is a moraine that is deposited furthest from the glacier/valley.

What is Recessional Moraine?

A recessional moraine is a series of ridges running across a valley behind a terminal moraine. They are formed
perpendicular to the later moraines that they reside between and are composed of debris deposited by the glacier.

What is Lateral Moraine?

Lateral moraine is developed on the side of a valley glacier which leads the deposit of rock fragments and sediments
along the valley of glacier. Any extra debris from the valley walls just stacks up on the side of the mountain glacier.

What is Medial Moraine?

Medial moraine is when the lateral moraines merge into the middle of the larger moraine. This till forms a visible dark
strip on the surface of the ice.

What is Moraine dam glacier ice?

Moraine dam is caused by periodic glacier floods.

What is Plucking and Transportation?

Plucking and transportation is when a glacier ice slides over a bed rock, the glacier drags and moves the sediments along
its path. It is common during the initial ice transformation. If the land is very steep, one side would be very smooth while
the other side is very rough. Example: Rouge Montonee

What is Outwash Plain?

Outwash plain is when sediments are spread out from the boundaries of the valley into a plain area. Example: Oak
Ridges Moraine (East of Toronto)

What is a Kettle Lake?

A kettle lake is when a large ice is melted to form a lake. The sediments blocks the ice which basically lets the ice melt in
one area only. Indication: Observe what happens to the land, the land would be dipped down when there is ice.

What is Isostasy?

Isostasy is the balance between the depression caused by the accumulation of ice and the upliftment of neighbouring

What is Eustasy?

Eustasy is the changes in sea level. Sea level is reduced during winter when the water evaporates and sea level rises
during summer when the ice melts.

What is a Braided Stream?

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The sediments carried by the glacier may block off the ice from moving. Therefore the melt water will stream in different
channels because of the sediment blocking its way. The channels of water will soon later join again.

What is Kame?

A Kame is an irregularly shaped hill composed of sand, gravel, and till. It happens during summer months when melt
water flow through crevasses of the glacier on land surface.

What is Esker?

An Esker is when ice melts, long twisting steep sided stratified ridges of sediments are formed.

What is Crevasse Fills?

Crevasses fill are the spaces and cracks in the glacier and may be filled with melt water and other sediments.

What is Glacier Delta?

Glacier delta is when deposited materials causes the glacier to divide into several channels which is triangular in shape.
This occurs when melt water and glacier materials flow into the bay.

What is Ice rafting?

Is broken piece of ice that drifts from the current and melt or reduce overtime.

What is Abrasion?

Abrasion is the process in which the ice uses the sediments it carries to scrape pieces of stones from the bedrock to
make it smoother. It is common in river erosion.

What is Fjords/Fiords?

Fiords is a glacial valley that extends from mountainous area. They are glacially carved valleys that are later flooded by
rising sea water as the glacier melts.

What is Cirque Glacier?

Cirque glacier is a semi-circular/horseshoe shape depression in which ice accumulates in mountains. It often has an exit
for the melted water to flow out. This is caused by snow avalanches from the valley glacier into the ground. When the
glacier melts and the depression is filled with water it is called a Tarn Lake.

What is an Alpine/Valley Glacier?

They are formed in very narrow shaped valleys. Example: Rocky Mountain

What is a Continental Glacier?

The thickness of the ice may be as large as 2.7km. Example: Greenland ice sheet and Antarctica ice sheet

What is Pyramid shape?

They are sharp pointed hills which are formed as a result of head-ward erosion of ice by multiple cirque glaciers

What is Arete?

It is very sharp ragged ridge and separates into two valleys. It is derived from the French word fishbone because at the
top of the ridge it is very sharp and there are big grooves on either side of the hill.

What does the striations, grooves, and chatter marks tell us about the glacier?

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Striation is when the rocks embedded in ice, scrapes across the bedrock cutting deep parallel groove and scratches.
When the glacier melts the bedrock is exposed and the marks shows us the direction of the ice movement.

What is Bergschrund?

Bergschrund (German for mountain cleft) is a crevasse that forms where moving glacier ice separates from the stagnant
ice or firn above. It happens during summer times when the snow on the mountain top melts and the gap between the
older base and fresh snow is formed on the mountain top. The gap will form along the boundary between the old ice
and fresh ice.


Lecture 10 – Wind Systems and Desert Landscapes

What are the 3 types of dessert formations?

- Close to the coastal areas of the world

- Formed on the leeward side of the mountain

- Formed in the region of high pressure zones

About Wind Pressure System

Low pressure system are much lighter and forces air to rise which leads to rainfall
High pressure systems have little to no rainfall

Equatorial Low Pressure (0 – 20 degrees latitude)

Warm air are forced to rise in this latitude area and it condenses to form rain fall. It is characterized by dense vegetation
and heavy rainfall.

Subtropical High Pressure (25 – 35 degrees latitude)

Cold air mass, which means they are denser and forced to stay on the surface of the earth to form little to no rainfall.
Example Sahara, Arabian Desert and Western Australia. Many desserts are formed around this latitude.

Sub-arctic Low Pressure (45 – 65 degrees latitude)

Polar High (Beyond 70 degrees latitude)

Why do cold ocean currents cause deserts?

Cold ocean currents cause deserts because the cold ocean air warms as it passes over continents. The warmer air holds
more moisture and causes evaporation and this formulates deserts.

Why do desert exist?

Latitudinal Dessert

- Many deserts are formed along the latitude of 30 degrees north and south of the equator.

Rain Shadow Desert

- Formed on the leeward side of the mountain. Example: Gopi dessert in China, near the Himalayas. The
moisture winds that blow from the Indian oceans are intercepted by the Himalayas. It rains heavily on the
windward side of the Himalayas but on the leeward side it has no rainfall or little.

- It is characterized by low rainfall, dry condition and grass vegetation.

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Interior Desserts

- It is influenced by cold ocean currents and bring low rain fall. Example: Sahara

Dessert Landforms

Features associated with arête regions

Desert Lakes/Plata Lake

- If too much rainfall occurs in the lake it becomes empty of water. Most of the water ends of evaporating and
leaving a layer of salt or dry depression. If water is found in the depression it is called the Desert Lake.

Flash Floods

- Found in deserts after intense precipitation. Example: 1997 Lake Powel, largest water reservoir and flood


- It is Veneer sized layer of rocks and stones (the stones that can’t be airborne). Overlying features are pushing
beneath the underlying rocks. Desert pavement is when stones are left behind while the rest gets blown away
from the wing.


- Loose sediments wind-swept from the valley horse and deposited in the low lying area. It is gently sloping which
extends from the base of the mountains.

Desert Features


- Mesa is a smaller flat land that is detached from a main land due to lateral erosion of rivers. It is a flat top
mountain shaped like a table


- It is broad and elevated and has a continuous area coverage. It is also flat on the top mountain like a table.


- It is the smallest steep, flat top hill which is separated from the mainland. It is also flat on the top mountain like
a table.


- It is spire, sharp pointed hill, looks like the tip of the soil. It has hard resistant rock which is left behind area wind
erosion. The remaining rocks are resistant to erosion while the others are soft. Can be found in Australia.


- It is known as a hull-shaped where the steep face in the windward direction and the gentle face is in the leeward
direction. The rocks formed by wind looks like mushroom shaped rocks (eddies). Lose materials are carried by
the wind.


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- Sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown silt, balance equal parts sand and silt that are loosely
cemented by calcium carbonate.

Wind Erosion and Transportation


- Loose sediments are lifted and carried by wind and transported from one location to another. Light sediments
are easily transported.


- Sediments that are transported by wind but held against rock surfaces, so they collide with the rocks. The rock
particles are chipped and peel loose sediments off. (formation of ventifact)

Wind Transportation

- Loose sediments are moves by wind, fine materials are airborne.

Dust Storm

- Dust bow. If dust comes at u 75km/hr make sure to cover your face and eyes or hide under an overhanging rock
or cave.

Depositional Landforms

Sand Dunes

Barchans Dunes

- Crescent shaped dunes, has 2 edges in direction of prevailing wind are formed by 1 single obstacle which occurs
in the path of the prevailing wind.

- 3 methods of wind transportation

o Suspension: Major transportation in the desert. It’s when fine materials are blown away

o Saltim: Slightly heavy sediments are airborne for a short distance than rolls away depending on wind

o Traction: Stones and rocks that are too heavy to be airborne are pushed and tossed over the surface

Transverse Dunes

- Sand ripples on a large scale, sediments deposits which are arranged perpendicular to the direction of the
prevailing wind. Ripples are at face of the prevailing wind.

Parabolic Dunes (blowout)

- “U” shaped dunes, bearing is the opposite to the direction of the prevailing wind

Longitudinal dunes or linear dunes

- Long straight dunes, mounts/ridges of sediments that runs parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind.
Example; Longest one is Rub Al Khali 560000 square km

Star Dunes

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- Has several variables and arms, sediment deposited are formed by changes in direction of wind and season
pattern of wind



Lecture 11 – Oceans, Waves and Coastal Processes

Wave Actions

Wave of Oscillation

- Highest point on wave is crest and lowest point is trough. Has an elliptical motion of wave which rises and falls.

Wave of Translation

- As ocean waves approach the shore line, the bottom of the wave encounters resistance along the continental
shell and this reduces the velocity of the wave motion and that is known as Swash. The retreated water has
some energy and pulls sediments in the form of backwash.

Wave Refraction

- Headlands is generally made out of rocks and has the ability to break the strength of the wave. Waves often
straighten the coast line, however, they may approach an irregular coast line and submarine topography refracts
or bends the approaching wave around a head land which are protruding.

Long Shore Drift

- It is also known as the littoral current or longshore current. The difference b/w he highest point reached by the
ocean waves and the lowest point is littoral zone.

- Any time there is alternating b/w the high and low point it is called a tide caused by the gravity change of earth
and moon.

Degradation and Aggradation of Waves

Waves of degradation is the process in which waves use their strength to transport rocks in the headland
Waves of aggradation is the deposition of eroded sediments by waves and creating of landforms

Hydraulic action or mechanical process

- Use shear strength and force and velocity to pound on rock surfaces along the coastal line. As water forces
through cracks it compresses the air pockets and was the wave retreats, the rock expands and break down into
smaller fragments.


- Loose sediments are transported by waves, collide with headland and rocks along the coast line and chipped
pieces of sediments from the mainland. Process reduces land mass and retreat overtime.


- Occurs when particles are transported by waves and collide with each other and result in the rough edges to be
smooth and reduce in size overtime. It is similar to corrasion

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- Difference b/w corrasion and attrition: Corrasion is stable land mass that is being attacked and being chipped,
for attrition the sediments collide and reduce in size also smoothen angular rocks.


- Water is mixed with minerals such as sulfuric acid and carbonic acid fall on land and they seep into the land and
causes corrosion of rocks when it comes in contact with them. (Dissolves rocks)

Tides and Shore Zone Currents

Tidal Bore

- Sudden rise of sea water that gushes to the shoreline. Occurs in Amazon River. In brazil it is known as Porococa

Tidal Range

- Known as lithoral zone and is the difference b/w highest and lowest point of the tide

Storm Surges

- Triggered by hurricanes, cyclones, and earthquakes which pulls a lot of water from the ocean. Occurred IN

Tidal Power

- High tide is good for shipping but dangerous as well.

Degradational Landforms

Sea Cliffs

- When sea waves come in contact with land mass, this is called a notch (a cavity at the base of a hill). This notch
deepens which results an overhanging mass, leaving a steep sided vertical slope, known as cliffs or sea cliffs

Sea Caves

- When constant erosion of waves creates deeper cavities and the caves come completely filled with water

Example: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Atlantic Canada

Wave Cut Platforms

- Gently sloping land which stretches from base of the cliff to the ocean which can be submerged during high tide
and exposed to low tide. During low tide the pebbles and shingles of sediments will accumulate on to the

- The platform looks like steps, and mark different levels reached by the ocean. Some can be 370m above sea
level. Found along coastal California

Sea Arches

- Arches are formed by wave erosion on adjacent side of headland. Caves are formed initially but are converged.
Will become a sea stack

Sea Stack

- Used to have a roof like the arches, the headline is slowly reduced in size. The piece is detached from the

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Aggradation Landforms


- Made up of loose sands or very fine sands and shells

Sand Spit

- Tongue like feature. Extends from the main land to the ocean. Example: Toronto Harbour. Several metres high
and kilometres long.

Bay Mouth Bars

- Narrow depositional features which extends from one end of the coastline to the other. Bay is detached from
the ocean so it will be less salty. Example Hamilton Harbor


- Sediment deposit extends from the main land and connects to an island and it serves as a bridge from the island
to the mainland. Example cape Verde in west Africa, prequel provincial park In Brighton, Ontario

Barrier islands

- Sediment deposit which runs parallel to the coastlines. Example: great Australian barrier reefs, the coast line
of India and Srilanka


- Semicircular shaped reefs. Examples of coral reefs formed in the ocean.

Emergence Coasts

- Aggradation features which are formed by plate tectonic activities along the coastline. Beaches are uplifted
because of tectonic movement

Sub-mergence coasts

- Very transparent, easy to spot sharks and other marine organisms.

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