2 PROCESSES OF GLACIAL EROSION AND 7 IMPORTANCE OF GLACIATION TO MAN


Processes of Glacial Erosion

1. Plucking: This is a process of glacial erosion where the glacier freezes in the joints and beds of the underlying rocks, tears out individual blocks and drags them away. Glacial landforms include; landforms of Highland glaciation Landforms of Glaciated Lowlands.

2. Abrasion: In this process of glacial erosion, the glacier scratches, scrapes, polishes and scours the floor and sides of the valley with the debris embedded in it.

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The Importance of Glaciation to Man

  • The old glacial lake beds with their alluvium support agricultural activities

  • Large lakes formed by former glaciation, e.g. the Great Lakes of North America, are used for navigation

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  • Large lakes formed by glaciation also cut deep overflow channels while draining off, making natural route ways across a mountainous terrain, e.g the Hudson-Mohawk Gap that links the interior with the Atlantic Seaboard of U.S.A.
  • In the out-wash plains, eskers and kames have been excavated by man to provide sand and gravel for highway and building construction.

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  • The lake basins of glaciated mountains provide natural reservoirs for the use of man.
  • Streams and waterfalls that plunge down from hanging valleys or other glaciated uplands are harnessed by man to provide hydro-electric power, particularly in Scandinavian countries, Switzerland and Canada.

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  • The magnificent scenery provided by the glaciated mountains, e.g. the French, Italian and Swiss Alps attracts a lot of tourists for skiing, mountain climbing and sight seeing.

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