University of Edinburgh

BSL Geography Glossary - U-shaped Valley - definition

Definition: U-shaped valleys form through glacial erosion. Glaciation develops in established v-shaped river valleys where the ice erodes the surrounding rocks to create a ā€œUā€ shaped valley with a flat bottom and steep sides. Glacier movement is driven by gravity. When the glacier melts, the landscape is transformed and the U-shaped valleys are clearly visible. Although rivers are present in U-shaped valleys now, they did not create the landscape that we see.