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Home > Geography > Glaciation > Landscapes of glacial erosion


Landscapes of glacial erosion


Sample question

Look at this typical question.

Here you are asked to identify the features marked on the diagram by matching them to the names of features given. Look at the diagram and see how many of the features in the list you can recognise. Then read the answers with their explanations.

Landscape with various features of glacial erosion

Match the following features to the numbers on the diagram.

Arête; Hanging Valley; Corrie (or Cirque); 'U' Shaped Valley; Alluvial Fan; Pyramidal Peak; Corrie Lochan (or Tarn); Misfit Stream; Ribbon Lake; Truncated Spur; Screes.


1 is a Pyramidal Peak because it has steep, triangular faces divided by sharp ridges or arêtes.

2 is an Arête, because it is a sharp ridge between corries.

3 is a Corrie or Cirque, because it is an armchair shaped hollow with steep back and sides.

4 is a Corrie Lochan or Tarn, because water has gathered in the hollow in the floor of the corrie.

5 is an Alluvial Fan, because it is a fan shaped pile of rock remains (alluvium) washed down by the stream and piled up where the steep valley side meets the valley floor.

6 is a Ribbon Lake, because it is a long narrow lake in a part of the valley cut deeper by the glacier.

7 is a Truncated Spur, because the ridge has been cut off sharply by the ice that flowed down the main valley.

8 is a Misfit Stream, because it is far too small to have cut the valley.

9 is a Hanging Valley, because the valley floor is much higher than the floor of the main valley.

10 is a 'U' Shaped Valley, because it has steep sides and a nearly flat floor. (The other side of the valley is missing in this cut-away diagram.

In these questions it can help to identify the easiest parts first, then compare carefully the remaining features and the names. For example, 3 (the Corrie) and 4 (the Tarn) could be mixed up, but 4 is placed right on the water, so it must be the tarn.



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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