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Glacial Deposition Landscapes
What do you know about ice? Try this quiz to find out.

Glacial Deposition Landscapes

Your GCSE geography syllabus requires that you know about the distinctive landforms that result from the action of ice on the land. This quiz is concerned with helping you to revise the key depositional features left behind as a glacier or an ice sheet melts.

The Earth has been subjected to several ice ages, the most recent taking place in the quaternary period during the pleistocene epoch. It began about 120,000 years ago and ended around 10,000 years ago. The fact that it lasted 110,000 years does not mean that it was continuous, nor does it mean that the whole Earth was ice-covered. The glaciers and ice sheets advance and retreat periodically during an ice age. When they have retreated, it is called an interglacial, in fact, it is not known if the quaternary ice age has actually ended, we may just be in an interglacial. But don't worry, it takes centuries or even thousands of years for the ice sheets and glaciers to develop or melt.

As ice sheets and glaciers melt, they leave behind (deposit) the material that they are carrying. Some of this is being carried within the ice and some is on the top surface. The unsorted rock debris that lies on top of the glacier is called moraine. Lateral moraines are at the edges and, where two glaciers meet, the lateral moraines are then combined at the centre of the new glacier to form a medial moraine. When the glaciers melt, both types of moraine are left in the bottom of the valley cut by the glacier as steep-sided and unsorted piles of rock that run the length of the valley.

The front of the glacier is called the snout and where it melts, it leaves a moraine behind. This is made from the rock that has been carried along on the surface of the ice as well as rock within the ice and rock that has been pushed forwards by the movement of the glacier. A terminal moraine marks the furthest point to which the ice extended. Gradually, soil forms and plants and animals colonise this and all of the other moraines.

The ice of the glacier or ice sheet contains not only rocks, but also finely ground up rock powder (termed rock flour) which is mixed in with the ice. When the ice melts, this is deposited as a material known as glacial till. This is a stony soil, usually very clay-like that forms a fairly flat but slightly undulating landscape surface. In some places, hillocks that are about one to two kilometres in length, between three hundred and six hundred metres wide and no more than fifty metres high have been left by the retreating ice. These are called drumlins.

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1.
A geographer studying a glacial valley finds a group of long, narrow hillocks that are no more than 50 metres high. These are:
drumlins
dramblins
drum moraines
oval moraines
Drumlins usually occur in groups called swarms and it is not known exactly how they form
2.
When was the last ice age?
Cambrian period
Jurassic period
Devonian period
Quaternary period
It lasted for about one hundred and ten thousand years
3.
Which of the following statements is true?
The material deposited by a glacier was distributed throughout the ice
The material deposited by a glacier comes only from the terminal moraine
The material deposited by a glacier comes only from the lateral moraines
The material deposited by a glacier comes only from the top surface
Because of the way the glacier is formed and how it moves, the debris it carries is found throughout the ice
4.
What is the area called that is downslope from the terminal moraine?
Backwash
Distributary
Confluence
Outwash
The outwash is created by meltwater flowing out from the glacier as it is melting. The fast-flowing water moves the materials deposited by the glacier further down the valley, spreading them over a larger area
5.
What happens when an ice sheet or glacier melts?
Everywhere gets flooded
The material it is carrying is left behind
It rains for 40 days and 40 nights
There is no more freeze-thaw weathering
Freeze-thaw and other weathering of mountain peaks and ridges leads to rocks being broken off. These roll downhill and end up on the glacier. When the glacier melts, these are left behind as the glacial deposits
6.
The material deposited by a glacier or ice sheet is ...
sorted and smooth
sorted and angular
unsorted and smooth
unsorted and angular
A key characteristic of glacial deposits is that they are unsorted. Deposits left by water are usually sorted and often smoothed
7.
What is the correct name of the moraine that is deposited at the furthest point to which the ice extended?
End moraine
Terminal moraine
Lateral moraine
Medial moraine
Terminal is a general purpose word that can be used to describe the end of something
8.
A line of unsorted rock debris with steep sides that runs along the centre of the whole length of a U-shaped valley is most likely to have come from  ...
a terminal moraine of the ice of a glacier that has melted
a medial moraine of the ice of a glacier that has melted
the rocks contained inside the ice of a glacier that has melted
freeze-thaw weathering of the ridges at either side of the valley
The clues are 'U-shaped valley' which tell you these are likely to have been deposited by a glacier and 'centre of the whole length' which is a characteristic of the deposition of a medial moraine
9.
What is an erratic?
A renegade geographer
A boulder that has rolled down a hill in a zig-zag track
A boulder that is made from a rock type that is uncommon to the area where it has been deposited
A boulder that rocks backwards and forwards when you push it lightly with your hand
They can be used to find out at least part of the journey of the glacier that deposited them
10.
What is the name given to a moraine that is found in the area between the terminal moraine and the current snout of the glacier?
Receding moraine
Recessional moraine
Receded moraine
Recess moraine
Glaciers recede and advance throughout their existence. This type of moraine is left when a glacier has been longer than it is currently but shorter than it was during the ice age
Author:  Kev Woodward

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