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Paternoster lake: Map


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A Paternoster lake is one of a series of glacial lakes connected by a single stream or a braided stream system. Paternosters occur in alpine valleys, climbing one after the other to the valley's head, called a corrie, which often contains a cirque lake. Paternoster lakes are created by terminal moraines, or rock dams, that are formed by the advance and subsequent upstream retreat and melting of the ice.

Excellent examples of this occur in California'smarker Sierra Nevada, where many stream courses above 3000 m in altitude contain paternoster lakes.

The name comes from the word Paternoster, another name for the Lord's Prayer derived from the Latin words for the prayer's opening words, "Our Father"; Paternoster lakes are so called because of their resemblance to rosary beads, with alternating prayer beads connected by a string or fine chain.


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