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The Icy Landscape


Torrents of Meltwater

Glaciers produce meltwater seasonally, and when they shrink they generate a huge volume which flows beneath and around the ice. During the last glaciation, particularly in its later stages, meltwater played an important role in shaping today’s landscape, by carving channels and depositing sediment.  Meltwater channels are a common feature in Upper Swaledale. Meltwater channels indicate that prior to the final melting of the ice sheet, drainage was through Skeb Skeugh and the area between Keld and Hartlakes was an interfluve between the Swale and Swinner Gill.

The present River Swale in Yorkshire cuts a gorge to the east of Kisdon Hill. The original river was the other side of Kisdon, but huge quantities of glacial meltwater cut this gorge after the Ice Age.
Diverted course of the present-day River Swale to the east of Kisdon Hill, Keld, Upper Swaledale.
Kisdon Hill is unusual in that it is an isolated area of high ground with no connecting ridges to other fells. This came about due to meltwaters changing the drainage patterns.