Rammer Cleugh - a classic MWC
Recognising meltwater channels
A small channel which forms parts of the Rammer Cleugh system, probably a
former sub-marginal chute
In former glaciated areas, meltwater channels and channel systems can be distinguished from normal river channels by
criteria which include:
an often abrupt end or
start in places where normal river channels do not
channels may be dry
or occupied by only tiny streams and so are misfit
channels may locally
move uphill, requiring cutting by meltwater flowing under hydrostatic pressure
channels cut through local watersheds
channels tend not to widen
downstream, retaining dimensions of flat floor and steep sides.
channel systems that
branch and converge but which may cut across the grain of the local terrain
as meltwater flow follows the surface slope of the former glacier.
For many years meltwater channels in Great
Britain were seen largely in terms of water running along the margins of former
glaciers. Today most channels are interpreted in terms of sub-glacial and sub-marginal meltwater flow.