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Fjords

  • By: Geir Vatne
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Fjords are one of the more prominent and spectacular landforms found on Earth, formed in areas that have been exposed to extensive glaciations. Fjords are glacially carved valleys, commonly termed U-shaped valleys or glacial troughs, that have been flooded by the sea during and after the glaciers that formed them retreated. Thus, they demonstrate the erosive powers of outlet glaciers draining continental ice caps and ice sheets. This entry discusses the location of fjords, characteristics of their profiles, and processes of formation.

Fjords are channels of formerly radiating outlet glaciers that drained large continental glaciers during the ice ages, as seen in Greenland and Antarctica today. Fjords are therefore only found along high-latitude coasts on both hemispheres. Among countries well known for their fjords and fjord ...

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