Title Bar: Illustrated Glossary of Alpine Glacial Landforms

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MORE EXAMPLES OF COLS

    Erosional Landforms
    Arete
    Cirque
    Col
    Giant stair steps
    Glacial trough
    Groove
    Hanging valley
    Headwall
    Horn
    Paternoster lakes
    Striations
    Tarn
    U-shaped valley

    Depositional Landforms
    Moraine
    End moraine
    Ground moraine
    Lateral moraine
    Medial moraine

    Ice Features
    Cirque glacier
    Valley glacier
    Crevasse
    Ice fall
    Ogives

Dark blue arrows point to two examples of cols on the topographic map to the right. Contour lines on either side of the cols are highlighted dark blue to make the shape of those contour lines easier to see. Red lines identify the back edges of cirques.

The boundary separating one cirque from another cirque forms an arete, a narrow steep ridge. A col is a low spot on that ridge. Narrow elongate closed contour lines define ridges on topographic maps whether the ridges are aretes or not. Low spots on the ridges, in this case cols, occur where the contour lines on either side of the low spot bend, or point, toward the col. The contour lines that bend toward the low spot have been highlighted in dark blue so that it's easier to see which way the contour lines bend. The arrows point to the actual cols. The northwestern col is called Mc Henrys Notch and the southeastern col is called Stone Man Pass.

Topographic map: col
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| Virtual Geography Department Project | Physical Geography Working Group |
All commercial rights reserved. Copyright 2010 by Karen A. Lemke. Earlier copyright 2002 by Karen A. Lemke, and 1998 by Karen A. Lemke and Linda Freeman.
Last updated June 2010 KAL.