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Valley Glacier (Mountain or Alpine Glacier), Alaska

Visual Glossary of Glacial Features


Confusingly, glaciers in mountainous country may be called valley, mountain or alpine glaciers. (more below)
The kind found in valleys
U.S. Geological Survey photo by Bruce Molnia (fair use policy)
The clearest name is valley glacier, because what defines one is that it occupies a valley in the mountains. (It is the mountains that should be called alpine—that is, jagged and bare due to glaciation.) Valley glaciers are what we typically think of as glaciers: a thick body of solid ice that flows like a very slow river under its own weight. Pictured is Bucher Glacier, an outlet glacier of the Juneau Icefield in southeastern Alaska. The dark stripes on the ice are medial moraines, and the wavelike forms along the center are called ogives.
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