Glacial Meltwater Flashcards

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Note: We may include questions that have multiple correct answers. It’s useful to remember specific examples to understand these concepts better.

What is glacial meltwater?

Glacial meltwater is water produced when a glacier melts.

It flows as streams, rivers, or forms lakes, and plays a role in shaping the glacial landscape and influencing geological processes.

What are the characteristics of glacial meltwater?

Glacial meltwater is usually crystal clear and cold, carrying a mix of sediment, known as glacial drift or till, which includes rocks, sand, clay and other debris.

How does glacial meltwater contribute to erosion, transportation and deposition?

As glacial meltwater flows over and through the landscape, it can carve channels, create valleys, and deposit sediment, shaping various landforms such as moraines, drumlins and outwash plains.

What are moraines?

Moraines are piles or landforms made from rocks and debris that glaciers push along as they move. When the glacier melts, it leaves these formations behind, marking its previous path.

How do outwash plains form?

Outwash plains form from sand and gravel deposited by meltwater from glaciers.

These flat areas showcase the spread of materials carried by the meltwater over time.

How does glacial meltwater support ecosystems?

Glacial meltwater provides fresh water for plants, animals and humans, contributes to the formation of rivers and lakes, supports aquatic life, and enriches soil for plant growth and agriculture.

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