Introduction: an atlas of submarine glacial landforms

Glacial landforms and sediments exposed sub-aerially have been the subject of description, analysis and interpretation for more than a century (e.g. De Laski 1864; De Geer 1889). Indeed, such features provided important initial observations informing Louis Agassiz's ideas that ice was a key instrument in sculpting the landscape and that glaciers and ice sheets had extended to mid-latitudes during the past, implying that Earth's climate must have changed considerably through time (Agassiz 1840). It is only in the last few decades that attention has begun to focus on the marine evidence for the past growth and decay of ice sheets that is recorded in submarine landforms and sediments preserved on high-latitude continental margins. This interest has been driven, in part, by the recognition that sediments deposited below wave-base are often well preserved in the Quaternary geological record, and may be less subject to erosion and reworking than their terrestrial counterparts. In addition, new marine-geophysical technologies have enabled increasingly high-resolution imaging and penetration of the high-latitude seafloor, most notably using multibeam swath-bathymetric and three-dimensional (3D) seismic-reflection methods, and modern ice-strengthened and ice-breaking research vessels have allowed the effective deployment of these increasingly sophisticated instruments in the often ice-infested waters of the Arctic and Antarctic seas.


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Authors: Dowdeswell, J. A., Canals, M., Jakobsson, M., Todd, B. J., Dowdeswell, E. K., Hogan, K. A.

Editors: Dowdeswell, J.A., Canals, M., Jakobsson, M., Todd, B.J., Dowdeswell, E.K., Hogan, K.A.

On this site: Kelly Hogan
1 January, 2016
In: Dowdeswell, J.A., Canals, M., Jakobsson, M., Todd, B.J., Dowdeswell, E.K., Hogan, K.A. (eds.). Atlas of submarine glacial landforms: modern, Quaternary and ancient, London, Geological Society of London, 3-14.
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