New Perspectives on Glacial Geomorphology in Earth’s Deep Time Record

Le Heron, D.P., Busfield, M.E., Chen, X., Corkeron, M., Davies, B.J., Dietrich, P., Ghienne, J-F., Kettler, C., Scharfenberg, L., Vandyk, T.M., and Wohlschlägl, R. (2022) New Perspectives on Glacial Geomorphology in Earth’s Deep Time Record. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10. 870359.

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Abstract

The deep time (pre-Quaternary) glacial record is an important means to understand the growth, development, and recession of the global cryosphere on very long timescales (10⁶–10⁸ Myr). Sedimentological description and interpretation of outcrops has traditionally played an important role. Whilst such data remain vital, new insights are now possible thanks to freely accessible aerial and satellite imagery, the widespread availability and affordability of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles, and accessibility to 3D rendering software. In this paper, we showcase examples of glaciated landscapes from the Cryogenian, Ediacaran, Late Ordovician and Late Carboniferous where this approach is revolutionizing our understanding of deep time glaciation. Although some problems cannot be overcome (erosion or dissolution of the evidence), robust interpretations in terms of the evolving subglacial environment can be made. Citing examples from Australia (Cryogenian), China (Ediacaran), North and South Africa (Late Ordovician, Late Carboniferous), and Namibia (Late Carboniferous), we illustrate how the power of glacial geomorphology can be harnessed to interpret Earth’s ancient glacial record.

Item ID: 76520
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2296-6463
Keywords: diamictite, geomorphology, glaciation, sedimentology, striated pavement
Copyright Information: © 2022 Le Heron, Busfield, Chen, Corkeron, Davies, Dietrich, Ghienne, Kettler, Scharfenberg, Vandyk and Wohlschlägl. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2022 06:25
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370509 Sedimentology @ 40%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience > 370901 Geomorphology and earth surface processes @ 40%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3799 Other earth sciences > 379901 Earth system sciences @ 20%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280107 Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences @ 60%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190599 Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified @ 40%
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