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Abstract

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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