Glaciers and Glaciation

Practice exam questions written by Timothy H. Heaton,
Professor of Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota

Click the circle by an answer with the mouse, then click on the Submit button to get a response. You will be told if your answer is correct or not and will be given some comments.

  1. What reservoir holds the greatest amount of water besides the oceans?
    Atmosphere
    Glaciers
    Groundwater
    Lakes
    Streams

  2. Which type of glaciers are the largest?
    Alpine glaciers.
    Ice sheets.
    Ice shelves.
    Outlet glaciers.
    Piedmont glaciers.

  3. Which type of glaciers occupy mountain valleys?
    Alpine glaciers.
    Ice sheets.
    Ice shelves.
    Outlet glaciers.
    Piedmont glaciers.

  4. Which type of glaciers occupy the lowland at mountain fronts?
    Alpine glaciers.
    Ice sheets.
    Ice shelves.
    Outlet glaciers.
    Piedmont glaciers.

  5. Which type of glaciers are sometimes found in confined valleys at the perimeter of ice sheets?
    Alpine glaciers.
    Ice sheets.
    Ice shelves.
    Outlet glaciers.
    Piedmont glaciers.

  6. Match each erosional process with the type of valley it creates in cross section.
    Process Valley type
    Glacial erosion.
    Stream erosion.
    U-shaped valleys.
    V-shaped valleys.

  7. Match the features left by glaciation with their definitions.
    Feature Definition
    Arêtes.
    Cirques.
    Drumlins.
    Erratics.
    Fjords.
    Horns.
    Kames.
    Striations.
    Tarns.
    Bowl-shaped depressions.
    Mounds of glacial debris.
    Out-of-place boulders.
    Scratches in bedrock.
    Shallow lakes or ponds.
    Sharp and jagged ridges.
    Sharp mountain peaks.
    Streamlined hills.
    Steep-sided ocean inlets.

  8. Match the glacial features with the type of glaciers that form them.
    Features Glacial type
    Arêtes.
    Cirques.
    Drumlins.
    Eskers.
    Glacial troughs.
    Hanging valleys.
    Horns.
    Kames.
    Kettles.
    Truncated spurs.
    Continental glaciers.
    Valley glaciers.

  9. What term refers to glacial melting below the snow line?
    Ablation.
    Basal slip.
    Calving.
    Plastic flow.
    Plucking.
    Surging.

  10. What term refers to periods of rapid glacial movement?
    Ablation.
    Basal slip.
    Calving.
    Plastic flow.
    Plucking.
    Surging.

  11. What term refers to a type of glacial erosion?
    Ablation.
    Basal slip.
    Calving.
    Plastic flow.
    Plucking.
    Surging.

  12. Which feature is not formed by glacial erosion?
    Col.
    Hanging valley.
    Moraine.
    Pater noster lakes.
    Truncated spur.

  13. What term refers to large pieces of ice breaking off the front of a coastal glacier to form icebergs?
    Ablation.
    Basal slip.
    Calving.
    Plastic flow.
    Plucking.
    Surging.

  14. Where does most glacial ice originate?
    Moraines.
    Snowline.
    Underground springs.
    Zone of accumulation.
    Zone of wastage.

  15. Where do crevasses form in glaciers?
    Where a glacier flows into a bay.
    Where a glacier drags large rocks over bedrock.
    Where a glacier is melting.
    Where a glacier is subjected to tension.
    Where pieces of ice break off of a glacier.

  16. Match each type of glacial deposit with its definition.
    Glacial deposit Definition
    Drift.
    Erratic.
    Loess.
    Moraine.
    Outwash.
    Rock flour.
    Till.
    A boulder dropped by a glacier.
    A depositional glacial landform.
    All glacial sediment.
    Fine-ground glacial debris.
    Material left directly by glaciers.
    Stream-deposited glacial sediment.
    Wind-blown glacial sediment.

  17. What glacial landform is represented by Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket?
    Drumlin.
    Esker.
    Lateral moraine.
    Recessional moraine.
    Terminal moraine.

  18. What glacial landform is represented by Bunker Hill of Revolutionary War fame?
    Drumlin.
    Esker.
    Lateral moraine.
    Recessional moraine.
    Terminal moraine.

  19. What type of moraines form from the coalescing of two glaciers?
    Ground moraines.
    Lateral moraines.
    Medial moraines.
    Recessional moraines.
    Terminal moraines.

  20. What types of moraines form exclusively in mountain glaciers (two correct answers)?
    Ground moraines.
    Lateral moraines.
    Medial moraines.
    Recessional moraines.
    Terminal moraines.

  21. What rock type is conclusive evidence of past glaciation?
    Conglomerate.
    Micrite.
    Pegmatite.
    Phyllite.
    Tillite.

  22. What is glacial ice?
    A metamorphic rock.
    A mineral.
    Recrystallized snow.
    All of the above.
    None of the above.

  23. Glaciation was most extensive during which epoch of the Cenozoic Era?
    Eocene.
    Holocene.
    Miocene.
    Oligocene.
    Pliocene.
    Pleistocene.

  24. About what portion of the earth's land area is currently covered by glaciers?
    1%.
    5%.
    10%.
    15%.
    20%.

Please report any problems or errors to Dr. Heaton.