Glacial Cirque, Colorado

Glacial Cirque, Colorado

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Credit: Stuart Wilson/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Glacial Cirque in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. This cirque was the birthplace of many glaciers. Several times during the last two million years, snow hundreds of feet deep accumulated at the top of this valley. The tremendous weight of the compacted snow and ice caused the mass to move slowly downhill, thereby giving birth to a glacier. As glaciers crept down the mountain, they scooped out this bowl-shaped cirque, leaving behind steep headwalls, a sloping valley floor, and a broad U-shaped valley.

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Keywords: alpine tundra, american west, broad valley, cirque, colorado, earth science, effects of glaciers, geography, geology, geomorphology, glacial cirque, glacial landform, glacially carved, glaciated, glacier erosion, headwalls, landscape, montane, mountain range, north america, panorama, panoramic, rockies, rocky mountain national park, rocky mountains, scenic, u-shaped, united states, valley, valley floor, western us

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