Research on landform and sediment assemblages formed by glaciers is dominated by studies of temperate glaciers in which sedimentary products reflect the influence of basal sliding, subglacial sediment deformation and subglacial hydrological systems (e.g. Boulton, 1972a and b). In contrast there have been relatively few studies oflandform and sediment assemblages ofpolar and polythermal glaciers (e.g. Fitzsimons, 1997a; O Cofaigh et al., 1999). The objective of this chapter is to synthesize recent investigations of polar continental glacier margins and move toward a depositional model for ice-marginal environments that links our understanding of glaciology and geomorphology. This review is based on field observations in East Antarctica (Vestfold Hills, Bunger Hills, Larseman Hills and Windmill Islands) and in south Victoria Land (McMurdo dry valleys and Ross Island). This chapter begins with a definition and review of the physical conditions that control depositional processes at polar glacier margins. The review is followed by a summary of the morphology and structure of modern polar glacier margins and associated landforms and sediments in low- and highrelief environments. The chapter concludes with a synthesis of ideas that form the basis of a depositional model for polar continental glacier margins.
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