Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

2011 Edition
| Editors: Vijay P. Singh, Pratap Singh, Umesh K. Haritashya

Ablation Depression

  • Lasafam IturrizagaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2642-2_660


Ablation valley; Ablation valley complexes; Lateroglacial valley; Randkluft; Valley-side depression


The ablation depression (“ablation valley”) is an element of the lateroglacial landform system. The term refers to a depression in-between the glacier and the adjacent valley flank or the sediment mantling the valley flank. It is mainly formed by solar insolation processes. Its width ranges generally from several meters to some tens of meters. The ablation depression might act as important sediment trap.

Geographical distribution

Ablation depressions may occur along the lateral margins of any glaciers worldwide as long as they are flanked by slopes of bedrock or sediments (Figure 1). Ablation effects by the emission of long-wave radiation occur in all geographical latitudes, but at different extents. The optimal distribution area of ablation valleys is located along glaciers in subtropical latitudes, such as in the Andes (Jordan, 1991) or in High Asia (Kuhle, 1991)....
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geography/High Mountain GeomorphologyGeographical Institute, University of GöttingenGöttingenGermany