If a rock is tapered, does the tapered point indicate the glacier direction?

  • $\begingroup$ There are two questions here. One is asking about a deposit of material, i.e. unconsolidated rocks and other materials, in this case, the question in the title, the response from @Michael_walsby would be correct. The second question "If a rock is tapered, does the tapered point indicate the glacial direction" implies a glacial erratic. In the case of an erratic because they are transported with the glacier I wouldn't expect any shape to indicate any direction of travel of the original glacier. $\endgroup$
    – user824
    Jul 4, 2019 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ Are you talking about a single rock or a deposit? $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 3, 2019 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, it can. There are large, elongated mounds of till carried by the glacier as it advanced and left behind as it retreated. These mounds are called drumlins. Their long axis points along the track of the now vanished glacier. They are wider, higher and steeper at the end which points toward the glacier's source and taper away gradually at the opposite end, which points away from the source. They vary in size, but are sometimes a few hundred yards in length and about 50 or 60 feet high. Most are smaller. Sometimes there is a group of them, called a drumlin field. Glaciers also leave behind mounds of debris transverse to their track called terminal moraines. A terminal moraine is formed where the end of the glacier was stationary for a while when it was retreating, and there may be several of them at intervals along the retreating glacier's track.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Some links and paragraph breaks would improve this answer. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Aug 3, 2019 at 13:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.