paternoster lake

Circular lakes found in a linear chain within a glaciated, U-shaped valley and created by the damming action of morainal ridges or rock bars are called paternoster lakes. The name—pater noster is Latin for “our father”—is derived from the chain’s resemblance to a string of rosary beads. The sequence of lakes is also known as a glacial stairway, the result of a mountain glacier pushing down a valley, scouring at various intervals a series of watery basins connected by rapids and waterfalls.

Conger Beasley, Jr.