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

D. P. Le Heron*, M. E. Busfield, X. Chen, M. Corkeron, B. J. Davies, P. Dietrich, J-F. Ghienne, C. Kettler, L. Scharfenberg, T. M. Vandyk, R. Wohlschlägl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)
37 Downloads (Pure)


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 (10(6)-10(8) 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number870359
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Earth Science
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022


  • diamictite
  • geomorphology
  • glaciation
  • sedimentology
  • striated pavement


Dive into the research topics of 'New Perspectives on Glacial Geomorphology in Earth's Deep Time Record'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this