When scientists talk about the cryosphere, they mean the places on Earth where water is in its solid form, frozen into ice or snow. Read more ...
On Friday, 06 February 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (USA Mountain Time), we will be performing scheduled maintenance, which may cause temporary disruptions to our Web site, applications, and FTP. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
An arête is a thin, crest of rock left after two adjacent glaciers have worn a steep ridge into the rock. A horn results when glaciers erode three or more arêtes, usually forming a sharp-edged peak. Cirques are concave, circular basins carved by the base of a glacier as it erodes the landscape.
The Matterhorn in Switzerland is a horn carved away by glacial erosion. —Credit: Photograph by Harry Fielding Reid. 1894. Zmutt Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media
The “Garden Wall” formation in Glacier National Park, Montana, shows the sharp, knife-like ridge of rock characteristic of arêtes. —Credit: United States National Park Service
Iceberg Cirque in Glacier National Park, Montana, features a large circular bowl shape typical of glacial cirques. —Credit: United States National Park Service
These cirques on Disko Island in Greenland exhibit the circular bowl shape, and are separated by an arête. —Credit: Ole Mikkelsen