a valley, the lower end of which opens high above a shore, usually caused by the rapid erosion of a cliff.
a tributary valley whose mouth is set above the the floor of the main valley, usually as a result of differences in glacial erosion.
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Origin of hanging valley
First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
geography a tributary valley entering a main valley at a much higher level because of overdeepening of the main valley, esp by glacial erosion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
A side valley that enters a main valley at an elevation high above the main valley floor. Hanging valleys are typically formed when the main valley has been widened and deepened by glacial erosion, leaving the side valley cut off abruptly from the main valley below. The steep drop from the hanging valley to the main valley floor usually creates cascading waterfalls.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.