Understanding Glacial Processes 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 are the two main types of erosion carried out by glaciers?

The two main types of erosion carried out by glaciers are abrasion and plucking.

What is abrasion in the context of glacial erosion?

Abrasion is when rocks frozen into the glacier scrape against underlying rocks as the glacier moves, acting like sandpaper and leaving behind scratches called striations.

What is plucking in glacial erosion?

Plucking occurs when a glacier freezes rocks to its sides and bottom, then ‘plucks’ these rocks as it moves downhill, loosening them from the ground.

What are U-shaped valleys, and how are they formed?

U-shaped valleys are valleys with steep sides and flat bottoms, formed by the powerful erosive action of moving glaciers.

What are glacial grooves and striations?

Glacial grooves and striations are parallel scratches or grooves on bedrock, caused by rocks embedded in a glacier scraping against the rock surface.

What is freeze-thaw weathering, and how does it work?

Freeze-thaw weathering occurs when water enters cracks in rocks, freezes and expands, causing the cracks to widen. Repeated cycles eventually cause the rock to break apart.

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