Polar continental margins and fjords - glacial and climatic evolution in the Cenozoic
Over the last decade there has been an increased scientific activity on glaciated continental margins due to the availability of new data sets such as high-resolution swath bathymetry, 3-D seismic data and long cores including some
of the more recent IODP drillings.
Arctic ice sheets are inferred to have evolved since Miocene but new results from ODP and IODP drillings show sea ice and continental ice during the Eocene and Oligocene. Antarctica has supported major ice sheets since the Oligocene ~34 Ma. Variations in the
size and extent of these ice sheets resulted from major variations in global climate, and had implications for sea-level, biodiversity, and oceanic and atmospheric circulation besides climate itself. Yet, there is a paucity of Cenozoic Antarctic and Arctic
outcrops and difficult access to stratigraphic records has limited understanding of the timing and scale of dynamic and stable behavior of the ice sheets. During the last two decades, studies of long sedimentary sequences drilled in and around Antarctica have
led to significant advances in the understanding of the evolution of the Antarctic continent (climate, tectonic, etc), now complimented by recent ocean drilling at the Wilkes Land margin (IODP 318).
Marginal marine environments such as fjords act as natural sediment traps and typically have high sediment accumulation rates, providing the potential for high-resolution palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental studies on decadal to centennial timescales and
presenting a unique opportunity to study land-ocean interactions.
The aim of this session is to bring together researchers working on northern and southern high-latitude margins, to investigate the many orders and scales of variations of the ice sheets, climate and tectonics, sedimentary processes, physical oceanography,
sedimentology, geophysics, and palaeo-biology/ecology.