Glacier Types: Hanging

When a major valley glacier system retreats and thins, sometimes the tributary glaciers are left in smaller valleys high above the shrunken central glacier surface. These are called hanging glaciers. If the entire system has melted and disappeared, the empty high valleys are called hanging valleys.

Dana GlacierDana Glacier, located in the northern Cascades in Washington state, culminates in an icefall as the glacier flows over a nearly vertical cliff. —Credit: Photograph by Austin Post. 1960. Dana Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Last updated: 16 March 2020