Subglacial landforms across various scales preserve the history of movement, deposition and erosion by the last great ice sheets and their meltwater. The origin of many of these landforms is, however, contentious. In this chapter these forms are described both individually and as suites that make up entire landscapes. Their interpretations are discussed with reference to the megaflood hypothesis. A description is provided of individual forms via their size, shape, landform associations, sedimentology and the relationship between landform surfaces and internal sediments. The possible origins of each are then discussed. To simplify the chapter the landforms are categorised by their size (micro, meso, macro and mega), although, importantly, it should be noted that several landforms show similarities across scales. Also discussed is the relevant subglacial hydrology associated with the described forms, especially the volume and discharge rates of megaflood flows, and where water may have been stored prior to the megaflood events.
As early as 1812, Sir James Hall interpreted the famous Castle Rock in Edinburgh, Scotland, a crag and tail, as a landform created by immense, turbulent floods. Likening the hill to features carved in snow by wind, he could only hypothesise that water was responsible; probably giant tidal waves, as, at that time, he knew of no other mechanism that could conceivably create such streamlining. It is now very clear that the streamlined forms first noted by Hall are part of a continuum containing landforms of many shapes and sizes.