Moraines common to both alpine and continental

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length of the glacier. Moraines common to both alpine and continental glaciers are end, terminal, recessional, and ground. For all of these, we must keep in mind that glacial ice is always moving downslope whether advancing, stationary, or retreating. And again, like a conveyor belt, the ice is always transporting debris toward the terminus of any glacier. In the case of a stationary glacier, the glacier is melting as fast as it is advancing, so that the glacier terminus remains in the same area, until the equilibrium is broken. As the glacier front “sits there”, a growing ridge forms, as more and more sediment is dropped off. This is an end moraine (Figure 13.44). The size of the end moraine will be largely determined by the amount of time the glacier is stationary because remember, the conveyor belt of ice continually brings new material to the front. As any glacier terminus tends to be arcuate (convex downslope), end moraines will also be arcuate; and thus, their morphology may be used to indicate the general direction of ice flow. There are two specific identities afforded end moraines, depending on where they formed relative to the glacier’s position. FIGURE 13.43 Medial Moraines In this satellite view (infrared) of Lentna Glacier, in Denali National Park, one can see five merging glaciers. The bold red arrows point to where lateral moraines on smaller glaciers are merging to become a medial moraine, within a larger glacier. Image courtesy of USGS, The National Map MEDIAL MORAINE N FIGURE 13.44 End Moraine
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  • Fall '14
  • garnero
  • Glacier, glacial ice, alpine glacier

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