Last week we looked at a U-shaped valley carved by a glacier. Maybe you wondered, where did all the rocks and dirt go?
In this week’s picture, we see where some the rocks and dirt carried away by the glacier ended up.
As the glacier moves down a mountain, it moves into warmer air and starts to melt. It melts from the sides where the ice is thinnest.
Most of the rocks and dirt are left behind in long piles that run along the sides of the glacier. The piles of dirt and rock are called “moraines,” which is pronounced “more RAINS.” Those moraines along the sides of the glacier are called “lateral moraines.” That is pronounced “LAT er ul,” which means “on the side” or “to the side.” If you know American football, you may have heard of a “lateral pass,” where the quarterback passes to the side instead of downfield.
This picture is of a lateral moraine from a glacier in Canada. You can see the glacier at the bottom of the picture. If all of the glacier melts away, the moraine will still be there. There are a lot of places on our planet Earth where you can see the path of a glacier that was once there, when you see the moraines the glacier left behind.
You can read more about this picture here: Athabasca Glacier Lateral Moraine