Where the glacier kame and went

Wednesday, May 24, 1995

KAMES are irregular hills of sand and gravel with steep slopes. Glaciers pick up rock debris as the ice flows along. Glacial meltwaters carry sand and gravel from the glacier. Where the meltwater streams experienced rapid drops in flow rate, as when they emerged from a tunnel under the ice, or reached level ground at the ice edge, some of the load of sand and gravel was piled up to form a kame. If the deposit was built up against the edge of the ice, when the ice melted, the sediment collapsed down leaving a steep (ice-contact) slope on one side where the ice stood. Such asymmetrical hills tell us which side the ice was on when the kame formed, which in turn tells us the direction of ice flow. Kames are often excavated as sources of sand and gravel for construction. Local examples of kames include Chicopee, Beechwood hill, Doon Pinnacle, and the Baden Hills. A row of kames extends from Amulree to Josephsburg, west of Waterloo.

Paul F. Karrow