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A 'little' ice, gravel, and water - Meltwater Channels

Clais MhadaidhClais Mhadaidh - 14th July 2009

Meltwater Channels, or 'dry gullies', are large V-shaped gouges, usually straight, and usually running downhill.

Meltwater Channels are formed by a substantial flood of glacial meltwater.  The tell-tale sign of a 'dry gully' is a large V-shaped gouge with either no water-course, or one a fraction of the size required to cut it, hence the rather euphemistic term 'dry gully'.

In the upland of Mar these 'dry gullies' were often given names with the Gaelic prefix Clais - meaning hollow.

Among the most obvious 'dry gullies' in the Cairngorms is Clais Mhadaidh in Gleann Dhé - a typical 'dry gully' of the Cairngorms, steep sided, and well able to conceal a terrace of two-story buildings at its deepest, and widest point.  Clais Mhadaidh runs from the south-western flank of Carn a' Mhaim almost due south towards the Dé