A Subglacial Gorge: La Gorge Du Guil (Hautes-Alpes)
Journal of Glaciology
The Gorge du Guil (Hautes-Alpes) might be regarded as a typical example of a post-glacial gorge. In fact, this is not the case. Systematic and very detailed observations based on maps of the scale of 1 : 5,000 have revealed that the greatest part of the excavation of the defiles, cut across the bands of massive rocks, was accomplished by subglacial melt waters. Remnants of glacial deposits containing well-rounded pebbles, but whose finer constituents have been largely removed, occur a few
... , occur a few metres above the present valley floor in each of these defiles. The down-cutting was very powerful, being facilitated by the crevassing of the ice, which was at the most 300 m. thick, over the ridges and in the constricted sections of the valley, and by the load carried in the englacial melt water. The sheltered and sunny climate, and the situation of the area below the limit of permanent snow also favoured erosion by melt water. By comparison, post-glacial down-cutting has been slight, not exceeding some ten metres in the massive strata, and appears to have been far less rapid than the subglacial erosion.