Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments

2009 Edition
| Editors: Vivien Gornitz

Roches Moutonnées

  • Matthew R. Bennett
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4411-3_203

Roches moutonnées are classic landforms of glacial erosion (Bennett and Glasser, 1996). They are giant stoss and lee forms carved from bedrock, with smoothly abraded up-ice or stoss faces and roughly quarried/plucked down-ice lee faces. They can occur as isolated forms, can be superimposed on larger asymmetric landforms, or occur as part of erosional landscapes subject to regional scour. Individual forms vary in size from less than 1 m to several hundred meters or even kilometers in diameter (Rastas and Seppälä, 1981). In Sweden, for example, large asymmetric hills (Flyggbergs) exceed 1 kilometer in length; however, most roches moutonnées are much smaller.

Roches moutonnées are the product of both glacial abrasion and glacial quarrying and it is this combination of processes that results in the asymmetric profile. Glacial abrasion occurs on the up-ice or stoss face of the landform, while glacial quarrying occurs on the lee. Glacial quarrying involves two processes, firstly the...

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Bibliography

  1. Bennett, M.R., and Glasser, N.F., 1996. Glacial Geology: Ice sheets and Landforms. Chichester, UK:Wiley, 364pp.Google Scholar
  2. Gordon, J.E., 1981. Ice-scoured topography and its relationship to bedrock structure and ice movement in parts of northern Scotland and West Greenland. Geografiska Annaler, 63A, 55–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Iverson, N.R., 1991. Potential effects of subglacial water pressure fluctuations on quarrying. J. Glaciol., 37, 27–36.Google Scholar
  4. Rastas, J., and Seppäla, M., 1981. Rock jointing and abrasion forms on roches moutonnées, SW Finland. Ann. Glaciol., 2, 159–163.Google Scholar
  5. Rothlisbeger, H., and Iken, A., 1981. Plucking as an effect of water-pressure variations at the glacier bed. Ann. Glaciology, 2, 57–62.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag 2009

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  • Matthew R. Bennett

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