An overview of the continental shelves of the world
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This Memoir explores the variability and controlling processes of sedimentation, morphology and tectonics on the world's continental shelves, with emphasis on their evolution during the last glacio-eustatic cycle. This work builds on some earlier volumes on continental shelves, notably those by Trumbul et al. (1958), Boillot (1978), De Batist & Jacobs (1996), Nittrouer et al. (2007) and Li et al. (2012) among others, although there has not been a previous comprehensive global-scale synthesis. The subject material presented here was developed in several International Geoscience Programmes (formerly the International Geological Correlation Programme, IGCP) concerned with shelves. Project 396 'Continental Shelves in the Quaternary' (1996-2000) was followed by IGCP 464 'Continental Shelves during the Last Glacial Cycle: Knowledge and Applications' (2001-2007) and finally by IGCP 526 'Risks, Resources and Record of the Past on the Continental Shelf' (2007-2011). In this Memoir, 23 papers are devoted to the description of different aspects of shelves from all seven continents and which are representative of the world's shelves. However, there remain significant gaps in our compilation. A glance at Figure 1.1 indicates the sparse coverage of data, particularly using modern techniques of investigation, for Africa, Russia and the Polar regions. However, new data are presented from some frontier provinces, such as Myanmar, Morocco and Ecuador.