University of Edinburgh

BSL Geography Glossary - Hanging Valley - definition

Definition: Glaciers form U-shaped valleys through erosion. Hanging Valleys are found high up on the sides of larger U-shaped valleys. Hanging valleys begin as corries, but over time, more and more erosion creates an elongated corrie or a small U-shaped valley. Now, the ice has all melted and formed lochs, lakes or rivers. The ice has also melted in the hanging valleys, but because the land here is so much higher than in the larger U-shaped valley, water in the hanging valley forms waterfalls. At hanging valleys now, you can usually see these waterfalls.