Explain how each feature below is formed. (4 points)
Hanging Valley / U-shaped Valley –
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Hanging Valley - A hanging valley is a tributary valley with the floor at a higher relief than the main channel into which it flows. They are most commonly associated with U-shaped valleys when a tributary glacier flows into a glacier of larger volume. The main glacier erodes a deep U-shaped valley with nearly vertical sides while the tributary glacier, with a smaller volume of ice, makes a shallower U-shaped valley. Since the surfaces of the glaciers were originally at the same elevation, the shallower valley appears to be ‘hanging’ above the main valley. Often, waterfalls form at or near the outlet of the upper valley.
Arêtes- An arête is a thin, almost knife-like, ridge of rock which is typically formed when two glaciers erode parallel U-shaped valleys. The arête is a thin ridge of rock that is left separating the two valleys. Arêtes can also form when two glacial cirques erode headwards towards one another, although frequently this results in a saddle-shaped pass, called a col. The edge is then sharpened by freeze-thaw weathering.
Horns-A horn results when glaciers erode three or more arêtes, usually forming a sharp-edged peak . They are common in Glacier National Park and a famous
horn is the Matterhorn.
Cirques- Cirques are formed because of influences from both erosion and glaciers. It forms mainly on covered hills which do not see a lot of sunlight, which allows snow to fill up the area. This snow will freeze and melt inside the surface, creating a tearing effect, creating a cupped section in the earth.