Terms to learn are in BOLD in the outline below:


Topic outline:

  1. Occurrence of glaciation
  2. Types of glaciers
    1. continental ice sheets
    2. valley glaciers
  3. Glacial formation  - firn
  4. Movement
    1. glacial flow
    2. glacial advance
      1. zone of accumulation
      2. zone of ablation
      3. glacial budget
  5. Erosional features - U-shaped valley
    1. valley glaciers - arete, horn, cirque, hanging valley
  6. Depositional features
    1. Glacial till versus Stratified glacial drift
    2. ice sheets - terminal, ground, and recessional moraines, eskers, kames, drumlins
    3. valley glaciers - lateral moraines, medial moraines
  7. Effects of glaciation - sea level change


Interesting places to visit:

Good starting place for general info:


Lots of great info and photos:


Virtual geology tours of glaciers:


When you are finished with this topic, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  1. What areas are currently covered with continental glaciers?
  2. How is glacial ice formed?
  3. What is the difference between a valley glacier and a continental glacier?
  4. What causes a glacier to advance?
  5. By what means does a glacier erode material?
  6. What are some depositional landforms of glaciers?  Some erosional landforms? How are they formed?
  7. What are some of the direct and indirect effects of glaciation?