Glacial Erosion

A paper which examines the rate and type of glacial erosion.

This paper is divided into two parts. The first part distinguishes between glacial erosion and weathering and the second part discusses the varying influence of the factors affecting the rate and type of glacial erosion. The paper shows that the main type of glacial erosion is abrasion and the characteristics of both the bedrock and the abrasive rock have a large influence on abrasion rates.
“The concept of glacial erosion can be considered using the “systems approach”, with the factors that influence the erosion as the inputs, the type and rate of the erosion itself as the processes, and the resultant landforms and characteristics as the outputs. The type of erosion that has the largest effect on the landscape is abrasion. Abrasion is the process by which entrained, subglacial debris grinds against the bedrock as the glacier moves, and wears the bedrock away as a result. There are three factors that are essential for abrasion to occur.”