Processes of glacial transportation

Glaciers move very slowly. As they move, they transport material from one place to another:

  • As freeze-thaw weathering occurs along the edge of the glacier pieces of rock, which break off larger rocks, fall onto the glacier and are transported.
  • Rocks plucked from the bottom and sides of the glacier are moved downhill with the ice.
  • Bulldozing is when rocks and debris, found in front of the glacier, are pushed downhill by the sheer force of the moving ice.
  • Rotational slip is the circular movement of the ice in the corrie.

Any material carried or moved by a glacier is called moraine. There are three different types of moraine:

  • Lateral moraine - material deposited along both sides of the glacier. This moraine is usually made up of weathered material that has fallen from the valley sides above the glacier.
  • Medial moraine - material deposited in the middle of the glacier. This is caused by the lateral moraines of two glaciers when they meet.
  • Terminal moraine - material deposited at the end of the glacier.
Terminal moraine is found at the bottom of the glacier. Lateral moraine is deposited at the sides of the glacier. Medial moraine can be found in the middle of glacier.