World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

U-shaped valley

Article Id: WHEBN0006194438
Reproduction Date:

Title: U-shaped valley  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Misfit stream, North American Cordillera, List of landforms, Little Pamir, Barnim Plateau
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

U-shaped valley

A glaciated valley in the Altai Mountains showing the characteristic U shape.
U-shaped valley in Leh valley, Ladakh, NW Indian Himalaya. The glacier visible at the head of the valley is the last remnants of the formerly much more extensive valley glacier which carved this valley.

A U-shaped valley or glacial trough is formed by the process of glaciation. It has a characteristic U shape, with steep, straight sides and a flat bottom. Glaciated valleys are formed when a glacier travels across and down a slope, carving the valley by the action of scouring.[1] When the ice recedes or thaws, the valley remains, often littered with small boulders that were transported within the ice.

Examples of U-valleys are found in mountainous regions like the Alps, Himalaya, Rocky mountains, Scottish Highlands, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Canada. A classic glacial trough is in Glacier National Park in Montana, USA in which the St. Mary River runs.

Formation

Glacier Valley formation
Illustration of a U-shaped valley being formed
U shaped Valley - Yosemite.
As a glacier moves downhill through a valley, the shape of the valley is transformed. A V-shaped valley is transformed into a U-shaped valley through the glacial erosion processes of plucking and abrasion. This results in large rocky material (glacial till) being carried in the glacier. A material called boulder clay is deposited on the floor of the valley. As the ice melts and retreats, the valley is left with very steep sides and a wide, flat floor. A river or stream may flow through the valley due to melt-water from the glacier.
U-shaped valley in Glacier National Park in Montana, United States.
This replaces the original stream or river and is known as a misfit stream. If the material which pushed in front of the glacier is left, this material is called a terminal moraine. The valley dammed by the moraine may then flood creating a lake which may twist and turn, which is termed a ribbon lake.

See also

References

  1. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.