Hotspot 1: Roche Moutonée

To the east of the panorama you can see a feature known as a roche moutonée (or sheep’s back). This ice erosional feature formed when ice advanced from the north and met with this resistant outcrop of rock.

The pressure of the great force of ice on the north side caused melting. However, to the south (behind the rock barrier) the pressure is lower and water is able to re-freeze into cracks in the rock.

This resulted in rock being ‘plucked’ away by the glacier leaving a smoothed upstream side and jagged downstream side to this feature.

  • Is this feature symmetrical?
  • Can you suggest reasons why it is asymmetrical?
  • Using this feature, can you tell the direction in which the ice has flowed?


Image shows view of Roche moutonée from Raven Ray.
View of Roche moutonée from Raven Ray.

Page last modified 04 September 2008.

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