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Home > Geography > Glaciation > Landscapes of glacial erosion


Landscapes of glacial erosion


Exam questions on Landscapes of Glacial Erosion are often based on a diagram. Try to look at as many of these as you can so that you can recognise the glacial features when they are shown in different diagrams.

Questions may ask you to identify features found on an Ordnance Survey Map. In order to revise for this you will need to practise looking for the contour patterns that show the larger features of Glacial Erosion such as corries, pyramidal peaks and 'U' shaped valleys.

How ice erodes


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Remember, ice erodes by:

  • Plucking - the base of glacier ice melts due to pressure and friction. This allows water to freeze into cracks in rocks, and when the glacier moves it pulls out chunks to leave a jagged surface. This provides material for abrasion
  • Abrasion - rocks stuck in the ice grind away the bedrock under the glacier
  • Freeze Thaw - water in cracks in the rock freezes and expands forcing open the gap. When the ice melts more water can get into the crack and freeze again. After many cycles of freezing and thawing lumps of rock are broken off the surface.


Man up Mount Snowdon.

Class Clips

How the weather and glaciers both contributed to the shaping of Mount Snowdon


Glacial erosion.

Class Clips

Video clip about how glacial erosion has affected the shape of Highland mountains



Class Clips

Video clip about how glacial erosion in Scotland has provided ideal routes for railways

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