Types of Glacial Deposits and Causes of Glacial Deposition

Material carried by the glacier is called a moraine.

Types of Moraine

  • Ground/sub-glacier moraine – load carried at the base of the glacier.
  • Englacial moraine – load within the glacier.
  • Lateral moraine – load carried at the sides of the glacier.
  • Medial moraine – load carried in the centre of the valley by a glacier.
  • Terminal/recessional moraine – load deposited at the point where a glacier melts.

Types of Glacial Deposits/Drift:

Till – directly deposited by ice on melting in unstratified manner.
Fluvial – materials deposited by water from the melting ice in stratified manner.

Causes of Glacial Deposition

  • Amount of glacial drift When ground moraine is too much the glacier glides over it leaving it behind.
  • Weight of glacier When more ice is added to a stationary glacier pressure is exerted at the base causing melting and the material which was embedded in the ice is dropped.

  • Climatic change During summer and spring ice melts depositing some materials the glacier was carrying.
  • Friction beneath the ice Friction between ice and surface reduces ice speed causing heavy materials to be deposited beneath ice sheets.
  • Slope Lowlands allow glacier to accumulate a lot of materials which are finally deposited by melting ice.


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