The glacier-influenced marine record on high-latitude continental margins: synergies between modern, Quaternary and ancient evidence
Published:January 01, 2019
J. A. Dowdeswell, K. A. Hogan, D. P. Le Heron, 2019. "The glacier-influenced marine record on high-latitude continental margins: synergies between modern, Quaternary and ancient evidence", Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary and Geophysical Archive, D.P. Le Heron, K.A. Hogan, E.R. Phillips, M. Huuse, M.E. Busfield, A.G.C. Graham
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Major glaciations or ‘ice ages’ are known to have affected the Earth’s surface over the past three billion years. The best preserved records of these glaciations are often found in high-latitude continental margin settings where sediment has been delivered to, and then accumulated at, the edge of the ice sheet in thick glacier-influenced marine sequences. The composition and geometry of these deposits and the related assemblages of glacial landforms provide a wealth of information about the environmental setting during successive cycles of glaciation and deglaciation, including ice-dynamic and oceanographic processes. Here, we discuss modern (present day), Quaternary (last 2.6 myr) and ancient (last 1 gyr) high-latitude continental margin settings, and then contrast the methodologies used and glacier-influenced deposits and landforms most often identified for each time period. We use examples from the literature to identify synergies, as well as to note differences, between studies of glacier-influenced sediments from ancient to modern environments.
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Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary and Geophysical Archive
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
Understanding the sedimentary and geophysical archive of glaciated margins is a complex task that requires integration and analysis of disparate sedimentological and geophysical data. Their analysis is vital for understanding the dynamics of past ice sheets and how they interact with their neighbouring marine basins, on timescales that cannot be captured by observations of the cryosphere today. As resources, sediments deposited on the inner margins of glaciated shelves also exhibit resource potential where more sand-dominated systems occur, acting as reservoirs for both hydrocarbons and water. This book surveys the full gamut of glaciated margins, from deep time (Neoproterozoic, Ordovician and Carboniferous–Permian) to modern high-latitude margins in Canada and Antarctica. This collection of papers is the first attempt to deliberately do this, allowing not only the similarities and differences between modern and ancient glaciated margins to be explored, but also the wide spectrum of their mechanisms of investigation to be probed. Together, these papers offer a high-resolution, spatially and temporally diverse blueprint of the depositional processes, ice sheet dynamics, and basin architectures of the world’s former glaciated margins; a vital resource in advancing understanding of our present and future marine-terminating ice sheet margins.