The Quaternary Period in the United States

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Elsevier, 2004 - Science - 584 pages
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This book reviews advances in understanding of the past ca. two million years of Earth history - the Quaternary Period - in the United States. It begins with sections on ice and water - as glaciers, permafrost, oceans, rivers, lakes, and aquifers. Six chapters are devoted to the high-latitude Pleistocene ice sheets, to mountain glaciations of the western United States, and to permafrost studies. Other chapters discuss ice-age lakes, caves, sea-level fluctuations, and riverine landscapes.



With a chapter on landscape evolution models, the book turns to essays on geologic processes. Two chapters discuss soils and their responses to climate, and wind-blown sediments. Two more describe volcanoes and earthquakes, and the use of Quaternary geology to understand the hazards they pose.



The next part of the book is on plants and animals. Five chapters consider the Quaternary history of vegetation in the United States. Other chapters treat forcing functions and vegetation response at different spatial and temporal scales, the role of fire as a catalyst of vegetation change during rapid climate shifts, and the use of tree rings in inferring age and past hydroclimatic conditions. Three chapters address vertebrate paleontology and the extinctions of large mammals at the end of the last glaciation, beetle assemblages and the inferences they permit about past conditions, and the peopling of North America.
A final chapter addresses the numerical modeling of Quaternary climates, and the role paleoclimatic studies and climatic modeling has in predicting future response of the Earth's climate system to the changes we have wrought.

  

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One of the very few text books on geomorphology that gives a concise understanding on the course. It has been very helpful especially with regards to names and dates.

Contents

Chapter 1
1
Chapter 2
17
Chapter 3
45
Chapter 4
63
Chapter 5
77
Chapter 6
105
Chapter 7
127
Chapter 8
147
Chapter 15
331
Chapter 16
351
Chapter 17
381
Chapter 18
403
Chapter 19
427
Chapter 20
441
Chapter 21
459
Chapter 22
479

Chapter 9
185
Chapter 10
205
Chapter 11
221
Chapter 12
247
Chapter 13
275
Chapter 14
311
Chapter 23
491
Chapter 24
505
Chapter 25
519
Chapter 26
539
Chapter 27
565
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 475 - Deevey, ES, Jr. 1939. Studies on Connecticut lake sediments. I. A postglacial climatic chronology for southern New England.

About the author (2004)

Porter joined the geology faculty of the University of Washington after receiving graduate degrees from Yale University.

Brian F. Atwater is a U.S. Geological Survey geologist and an affiliate professor of earth sciences at the University of Washington.

Bibliographic information