Glacier Types: Rock

Rock glaciers sometimes form when slow-moving glacial ice is covered by debris. They are often found in steep-sided valleys, where rocks and soil fall from the valley walls onto the ice. Rock glaciers may also form when frozen soil creeps downslope.

Photograph of a rock glacier in the Chugach Mountains of AlaskaThis rock glacier in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska shows the overlapping lobes characteristic of glacial ice motion. —Credit: Photographer and date unknown. Courtesy United States Government.

Photograph of a rock glacier on Gilpin Peak, ColoradoThis rock glacier slumps down off of the northeast face of Gilpin Peak in Colorado. —Credit: Bob Webster