hanging valley

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hanging valley

Geography a tributary valley entering a main valley at a much higher level because of overdeepening of the main valley, esp by glacial erosion
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hanging Valley


a valley whose floor ends with a drop to the floor of another, larger valley or to the shore of a sea or lake.

Hanging valleys are formed by the significant differences in the erosive forces of water currents of the main valley and the valley of a tributary, as a result of which the cutting of the tributary lags behind the deepening of the valley of the main river. On sea and lake shores hanging valleys arise because the water-current erosion is slower than the destruction of the shore by surf. The occurrence of a hanging valley can also be connected with sharp changes in the basis of erosion, tectonic movements, a rapid decrease in the level of a reservoir, and differences in the lithology of the washed rocks; in mountain regions, hanging valleys may be connected with the varying speed of valley deepening by glaciers.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

hanging valley

[′haŋ·iŋ ¦val·ē]
A valley whose floor is higher than the level of the shore or other valley to which it leads.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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Cwm Llan is one of the most stunning hanging valleys in Snowdonia, with waterfalls, great views and cliffs a thousand metres high.
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