Tarn (lake)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search
Glacial action forming a tarn

A tarn (or corrie loch) is a mountain lake or pool, formed in a cirque excavated by a glacier. It is formed when either rain or river water fills the cirque. A moraine may form a natural dam below a tarn.[1] A corrie may be called a cirque.


The word is derived from the Old Norse word tjörn meaning pond. Its more specific use as a mountain lake emerges as it is the commonly used term for all ponds in the upland areas of Northern England. Here, it retains a broader use, referring to any small lake or pond, regardless of its location and origin (e.g. Talkin Tarn).[2]

In Scandinavian languages a tjern or tjärn, tärn or tjørn is a small natural lake, often in a forest or with vegetation close around it or growing into the lake.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Illustrated Glossary of Alpine Glacial Landforms". Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Fresh Water Tarns". Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Archived from the original on 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  3. ^ "Mt Field National Park: Landforms, Flora and Fauna". Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania. Retrieved 2009-05-12.