Examples of Glacial Lakes and Ponds

Examples of Glacial Lakes and Ponds

Posted by Manisha on May 28, 2020

Glacier dramatically alters the surface of the land or landscape of a place by its action of erosion and deposition. When a glacier retreats, all its landforms became visible on the surface over which glacier had once moved. 

Glacial lakes and ponds are formed after the melting of glaciers. Glacial waterbodies are also left behind as an action of post-glacial action. 
These lakes and ponds are formed or created due to the accumulation of ice water into the various erosional and depositional landforms. Such as depression or holes created by glacial action.

The water in glacial lakes and ponds is usually sourced from melting ice left behind by a retreating glacier or rainfall. 
These glacial landforms provide us the gateway to the ice age as it helps in providing many clues and evidence in the form of residual of that time period. 
And proved that there was an ice age existed before 11,000 years on Earth. 

I already discussed the glacial depositional landforms in my earlier posts What are the Glacial Depositional Landforms, here in this post I would like to share some glacial lakes and ponds, which is found deep into the glaciers where no one easily dares to go. 
What do you like the most about glaciers?

Glacial Lakes and Ponds

The main difference between lake and ones are of size:

Lakes: These are bigger and deeper than the pond, and has an aphotic zone, meaning there is an area eep enough where the sunlight can not reach on to its bottom.

Ponds: Ponds are comparatively small and shallow where plants could receive the sunlight. This area, where plants could grow is known as the photic zone meaning where Sun’s rays can reach the bottom. 

Now here are some examples of  glacial lakes and ponds are given below: 

1. Kettle Lake 

This is also known as Kettle hole and Pothole.
It is a depression in an outwash plain, which is created by a retreating glacier and later filled with meltwater. Also sourced with the sudden drainage of an ice-dammed lake.
For example, In Canada, lake Ontario, heart lake, in India, Sela pass, in North Siberia- Yaman peninsula are a few examples of Kettle lake.

2. Tarn

It is also known as a mountain lake, pond, or pool, which formed in the cirque of a glacier.
The other names of Tarn are Rock basin lake and Corrie loch.
Formed when a cirque (a glacial erosional landform) is filled with meltwater of glacier or rainwater.

For example, Torn are Generally found in Northern England, a good example is the Talkin Tarn found near Brampton in Cumbria, England, in Slovakia, Lousy lake in North Cascades National Park of U.S.A., Sea Lion Tarn in Antarctica, etc.

3. Moraine Dammed Lakes

It is created due to the collection of meltwater from the glacier, by retreating of the glacier from terminus moraine.
In other words, a moraine-dammed lake is formed when terminus moraine has prevented some meltwater from leaving the valley.
It is found in the shape of a long ribbon, so also named Ribbon lake.
They may burst anytime, that is why the areas below such lakes have a high risk of flooding.

For example, found in the U.S.A., Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Switzerland, also in some parts of Himalaya. 

4. Paternoster Lake

It is a chain or series of lake in a glacial valley, and are often connected to one another by stream runs between them. It is found in the low depression area of the u-shaped valley. Sometimes also called Staircase lake
Mainly, formed when a stream is dammed by successive recessional moraine left by an advancing or retreating glacier.

For example, Grinnell valley in Glacier National Park of Montana.

However, sometimes glacial lake outburst flood events became more prone to that region, caused by damming and subsequent breaking of moraine and ice on the mouth of these lakes.