Identify erosional processes and features created by glaciers

Note: Please refer to the GETTING STARTED module to learn how to maneuver through, and how to answer the lab questions, in the Google Earth () component.


You should know and understand the following terms:

Alpine glaciersEquilibriumKettle
ArêteEskerMoraine (lateral, medial, terminal)
CirqueFjordsPaternoster Lake
Continental glaciersFreeze-onTarn
CrevassesGlacial Mass BalanceZone of Accumulation
DrumlinKameZone of Ablation


After successfully completing this module, you should be able to do the following tasks:

·         Identify continental and alpine glaciers

·         Identify erosional processes and features created by glaciers

·         Identify depositional processes and features created by glaciers

·         Examine the processes that create glaciers and glacial landforms

·         Practice interpreting glacial features on aerial imagery and topographic maps

·         Explain the concept of using ice cores to reconstruct climate history


This module examines glacial processes and features. Topics include continental and alpine glaciation, ablation and accumulation, cirques, drumlins, kettles, kames and moraine. While these topics may appear to be disparate, you will learn how they are inherently related. The modules start with five opening topics, or vignettes, which are found in the accompanying Google Earth file. These vignettes introduce basic concepts of the glacial processes and landforms. Some of the vignettes have animations, videos, or short articles that will provide another perspective or visual explanation for the topic at hand.  After reading the vignette and associated links, answer the following questions. Please note that some links might take a while to download based on your Internet speed.

Expand the INTRODUCTION folder and then check Topic 1: Introduction.

 Read Topic 1: Introduction.

Question 1: What are some uses of freshwater from glaciers?

A.   Agriculture

B.   Industry

C.   Tourism

D.   All of the above

 Read Topic 2: Types of Glaciers.

Question 2: What is the semi-circular feature at the far left of the image?

A.   Drumlin

B.   Lateral moraine

C.   Terminal moraine

D.   Medial moraine