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Meltwater channels and meanders
The low ice temperatures of Gornergletscher also lead to the formation of remarkably deep meltwater channels on the glacier surface. This is because the water cannot enter the glacier through moulins, or drain along ice crystal boundaries.
Deeply incised meandering meltwater channels below Gornergrat in the early morning light.
Wider depressions are probably related to previous meltwater lakes which have drained in the meantime.
Two cut-off meanders at the outflow from "Lake 2". Aerial photo Bernhard Edmayer.
Contrasting example: on Schwärzegletscher, a tributary of Gornergletscher which is less cold, meltwater channels disappear into moulins.
|Photos Jürg Alean, August 2004, unless otherwise mentioned.|