Physical Geography

Earth Science

Mer de Glace Case Study

The Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) is a large glacial system situated in the French Alps. It flows off the slopes of Mont Blanc towards the Chamonix valley, an area very popular with tourists in both summer and winter.

This lesson is about two things - establishing the Mer de Glace as a 'case study', and recognising glacial features from photographs.

It is important to be able to talk about a case study in your examination. It enables you to link ideas to a real place, and to give real examples of features and processes when writing about glaciation. The Mer de Glace is a good case study of European glaciation because it is an active glacial system surrounded by evidence of past glaciation.


The aim of this exercise is to produce a small project about the Mer de Glace.

1. Research the Mer de Glace and the area around it to discover how glaciation in that area has influenced communications routes, agriculture, industry and tourism.

2. Look at the images shown at the Photographic tour of the Mer de Glace. Select four of them to use in your project, and describe the contents of each image in as much detail as you can. Try to identify as many glacial features and processes as you can.

3. Add other photographs and diagrams to your project, showing some of the other features of the glacier, and explaining how they were formed.

Further Activities

You will now have to carry out some research of your own...

a) You will need case studies that you can use for features such as crag and tail, drumlins and other landforms left behind by glaciation. Make a list of features you know about, and establish a location where an example of each can be found.

b) Collect together a range of photographs and diagrams of glacial features and processes. Mount these on card and use them as a group revision aid, perhaps for a class glacial quiz or to test your friends.


Recommended Web Site
Parent / Teacher Guide

Click this button to return to the last visited page

Click to go back