Valley Glacier

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valley glacier

[′val·ē ‚glā·shər]
A glacier that flows down the walls of a mountain valley.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Valley Glacier


a glacier that moves down the valley of a mountain river, with the valley determining the shape of the glacier, its character, and the direction of its movement.

Valley glaciers are divided into two morphologically different parts: the upper part—alimentation area, or névé basin, in which the accumulation of matter exceeds ablation—and the lower part, in which ablation exceeds accumulation. The alimentation area usually encompasses the glacial cirque, a dish-shaped expanse at the head of the valley, and sometimes also the flat surfaces adjoining the cirque, the broad saddles of the crest, and the relatively gentle slopes. The ablation area of a valley glacier is also called the glacier tongue. Depending on what part of the valley is occupied by the glacier, valley glaciers are divided into cirque (corrie) glaciers; alpine glaciers, which descend beyond the cirque into one valley; compound, or polysynthetic, glaciers, which form when two or several glacier tongues with independent alimentation areas fuse; and dendritic glaciers, which form when many glaciers from the lateral gorges fuse with the glacier of the main valley. Valley glaciers without névé basins which are fed by avalanches and ice slides from the slopes are called Turkestan-type glaciers; valley glaciers that flow from the névé field on the divide down both sides of the mountain range are diffluent glaciers.

There are also transitional forms between mountain glaciers and ice sheets. These include reticulate or Spitsbergen-type glaciers, which fill a network of connected glacier valleys and have ice caps over the divides, and piedmont or Alaskan-type glaciers, which have separate alimentation and drainage areas and a common ice lobe on the piedmont plain or on the floor of a broad valley. Valley glaciers among ice sheets are termed outlet glaciers.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
TIDEWATER GLACIERS: As the name implies, these are valley glaciers that flow far enough to reach out into the sea.
Valley glaciers are fed from mountain slopes and confined by the walls of a valley.
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The study of Dartmoor by the universities of Durham and Exeter, and Stockton Riverside College, shows for the first time that an ice cap and valley glaciers were present in its centre and that the naturally castellated stone outcrops, known as tors, were survivors.
"The dominant way scientists have defined the Little Ice Age is by the expansion of big valley glaciers in the Alps and in Norway," said Miller.
"They very clearly mark the outlines of formerly expanded valley glaciers at various distinct times in the recent past," he said.
All the modern place names of Iceland's 269 glaciers are listed: they include 14 ice caps, 2 contiguous (i.e., connected) ice caps, 109 outlet glaciers, 8 ice-flow basins, 3 ice streams, 55 cirque glaciers, 73 mountain glaciers, and 5 valley glaciers. Also listed are 38 named snow patches and 14 named jokulhlaup deposits.
According to Martin Siegert of the University of Edinburgh, UK, "It would have looked much like Patagonia today, with quite lush forests and small valley glaciers cutting into the alpine topography." (ANI)
This issue features an article on the dynamics of Kluane's valley glaciers by Gwenn Flowers of the Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University, as well as updates on the Canadian International Polar Year Publications Database (CIPYPD) and the KLRS Bibliography by AINA's Ross Goodwin.
In this paper, we present the first calendar dates for the maximum Little Ice Age advance of Kaskawulsh Glacier, one of the large valley glaciers in the St.

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