The forms of Vermont's mountains, even to the highest summits, were to a great extent rounded by glaciation, but as the rocks vary much in texture and are often steeply inclined, stream erosion has cut valleys deep and narrow, often mere gorges.
Of the Urals, but the question as to the glaciation of the Urals still remains open.
Glaciation was formerly much more extensive, old moraines being observed down to 12,000 ft.
The unusual glaciation of the east coast is evidently owing to the north polar current carrying the ice masses from the north polar basin 4 south-westward along the land, and giving it an entirely arctic climate down to Cape Farewell.
(The causes or conditions of glaciation, it may be noted here, are no better known than in 1910.
It has been suggested, however, that a prolonged period of volcanic activity may reduce the air temperature to a marked degree by throwing large quantities of dust into the atmosphere: this will act by preventing the penetration of solar radiation.) During a period of prolonged glaciation water becomes withdrawn from the ocean, for rainfall goes to form solid ice-caps that accumulate upon polar and continental land areas.
Since the uplift and stream dissection a slight depression has allowed the sea to invade the lower portions of the river valleys, forming the bays known as Narragansett Bay, Providence "river," Sakonnet " river," &c. Glaciation has disturbed the river 1 Block Island, over which the jurisdiction of the state extends, lies Jo m.
It presents evidences of having been subjected to powerful glaciation, and to subsequent immersion and immense denudation.
The process of disintegration and levelling down has reached such an advanced stage that, if ever there did exist evidences of former glaciation, they have now become entirely obliterated, even to the complete pulverization of the erratic blocks, supposing there were any.
These irregular features are wanting south of the limits of Pleistocene glaciation; there the rivers have had time, in the latest cycle of erosion into which they have entered, to establish themselves in a continuous flow, and as a rule to wear down their courses to a smoothly graded slope.
Glaciation has strongly scoured away the deeply-weathered soils that presumably existed here in preglacial time, revealing firm and rugged ledges in the low hills and swells of the ground, and spreading an irregular drift cover over the lower parts, whereby the drainage is often much disordered; here being detained in lakes and swamps (muskegs) and there rushing down rocky rapids.
No satisfactory solution of this problem has been reached; but the association of the Great Lakes and other large lakes farther north in Canada with the great North American area of strong and repeated glaciation is highly suggestive.
The reason for this exemption from glaciation is the converse of that for the southward convexity of the morainic loops; for while they mark the paths of greatest glacial advance along lowland troughs (lake basins), the driftless area is a district protected from ice invasion by reason of the obstruction which the highlands of northern Wisconsin and Michigan (part of the Superior oldland~ offered to glacial advance.
In the United States no direct evidence has been found of the low tensperaturewhich brought about glaciation in many other parts of the earth during this period.
Outside the region affected by glaciation, deposits by wind, rain, rivers, &c., have been building up the land, and sedimentation has N ~ been in progress in lakes and about coasts.
The few small lakes of the state are mostly on the Pocono plateau, where they were formed by glaciation; here, too, are some streams with picturesque cascades.
Glacial deposits certainly do exist in the Permo-carboniferous formations, which are described under that head, but in the true Carboniferous system glaciation may be taken as not proven.
They almost invariably lie on strongly ice-worn platforms of rock, and are obviously hollows produced by the gouging action of the sheets of land-ice by which the general glaciation of the country was affected.
Local glaciation has modified the higher levels of the Bighorn Mountains, giving glacial cirques, alpine peaks and many mountain lakes and waterfalls.
North of the morainic belt the effect of the glaciation is seen in the irregular courses of the streams, the numerous lakes and freshwater marshes and the falls and rapids along those streams displaced by the glaciers from their former courses.
The effect of glaciation on the soil is noted in a later paragraph.
The glaciation is also responsible for the poor soil of most of the state, for, although the rocks are the same crystallines which give good soils further south in unglaciated regions, all the decayed portions of the Maine rocks have been removed by glacial erosion, revealing fresh, barren rock over great areas, or depositing the rather sterile hard-pan as a thin coating in other places.
On some of these peaks again there is a considerable amount of glaciation, more particularly on the slopes of Diklos-mta, where the glaciers descend to 7700 ft.
Local glaciation has carved the higher levels of this range into a maze of amphitheatres containing lakes, separated from each other by aretes and alpine peaks.