Randkluft

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Cross section of a cirque glacier showing the randkluft.

A randkluft (from the German for marginal cleft/crevasse) is the headwall gap between a glacier or snowfield and the adjacent rock face at the back of the cirque[1] or, more loosely, between the rock face and the side of the glacier.

Formation[edit]

It is formed by the melting of ice against warmer rock and may be very deep. During summer therefore, a randkluft will become wider and thus more difficult for climbers to negotiate. Randklufts are often found in relatively low-lying glaciers such as the Blaueis in the Berchtesgaden Alps or the Höllentalferner in the Wetterstein.

A randkluft is similar to, but not identical with, a bergschrund, which is the place on a high-altitude glacier where the moving ice stream breaks away from the static ice frozen to the rock creating a large crevasse. Unlike a randkluft, a bergschrund has two ice walls.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whittow, John (1984). Dictionary of Physical Geography. London: Penguin, 1984, p. 438. ISBN 0-14-051094-X.

External links[edit]