roches moutonnées

erratics and perched blocks

knock and lochan terrain

glacial microforms

Umpire Rock - one of the largest glacially-abraded rock surfaces in Central Park

cairngorm landscapes

caithness landscapes

orkney landscapes

shetland landscapes

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Glacial Landforms in Central Park NYC

New York City's Central Park provides one of the most accessible locations in the world in which to examine classic landforms of glacial erosion. This 320 ha of Manhattan displays an ice-moulded terrain developed on ancient, hard metamorphic rocks which is directly comparable in its forms to the knock and lochan scenery developed on the Canadian and Fennoscandian shields. Classic examples of glacial landforms include roches moutonnées, rock basins, glacial grooves, perched blocks and far-travelled erratics. These features have been documented over many years by Charles Merguerson and his co-workers and an excellent field guide exists to the rocks and landforms of Central Park.

During the Ice Age Manhattan lay towards the south-eastern margin of the great Laurentide ice sheet (USGS summary). The island was glaciated on many occasions over the last million years. The last ice sheet terminated near Perth Amboy and on Long Island. The ice began to retreat between 20 and 17 thousand years ago, exposing the glacially-polished and -streamlined rock surfaces of Central Park.