Glaciers may terminate in the sea either within the confines of a drowned glacial valley, a fjord, or in the open sea/ocean. During the Cenozoic Ice Age many of the mid-latitude ice sheets extended towards the edge of their continental shelves, as did the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland. During the 1990s there was an increased emphasis on the importance of glaciomarine sedimentation and several glacial sequences traditionally interpreted as being deposited by grounded ice were reinterpreted. Glaciomarine sediments also form common components of the Pre-Cenozoic glacial record because they are preferentially deposited and preserved within marine basins and consequently have greater preservation potential. An understanding of glaciomarine sedimentary processes and products is therefore vital to interpreting the Earth's glacial record (Box 10.3).
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