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The Quaternary Period is the geologic time period from the end of the Pliocene Epoch roughly 1.8-1.6 million years ago to the present. The Quaternary includes 2 geologic subdivisions -- the Pleistocene and the Holocene Epochs. Jump to: navigation, search The geologic time scale is used by geologists and other scientists to describe the timing and relationships between events that have occurred during the history of the Earth. ... The Pliocene epoch (a. ... The word epoch can mean either an interval of time, or a particular point in time used as a reference point. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Pleistocene Epoch is part of the geologic timescale, usually dated as 1. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Holocene Epoch is a stupid geologic period that extends from the present back about 10,000 radiocarbon years. ... The word epoch can mean either an interval of time, or a particular point in time used as a reference point. ...


In a recent revision of the international classification of geological time periods, the Quaternary was subsumed into the Neogene. The move has met with some resistance from geologists. Jump to: navigation, search Neogene Period: A unit of geologic time consisting of the Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene epochs. ... A geologist is a contributor to the science of geology. ...

Contents


Overview

The term Quaternary ("fourth") was proposed by Jules Desnoyers in 1829 to address sediments of France's Seine Basin that seemed clearly to be younger than Tertiary Period rocks. The Quaternary Period follows the Tertiary Period and extends to the present. The Quaternary roughly covers the time span of recent glaciations, including the last glacial retreat. An occasional alternative usage places the start of the Quaternary at the onset of North Pole glaciation approximately 3 million years ago and includes portions of the upper Pliocene. Some people do not recognize the Quaternary and consider it an informal term included in the Neogene, as can be seen from the 2003 edition of the International Stratigraphic Chart, published by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. Jules Pierre François Stanislaus Desnoyers (October 8, 1800 - 1887) was a French geologist and archaeologist. ... This article is about the river in France. ... The Tertiary period was previously one of the major divisions of the geologic timescale, from the end of the Cretaceous period about 65. ... In geology, a period or age is a time span of many millions of years that are assumed to have had similar characteristics. ... Jump to: navigation, search Our earth is composed of three main types of rock, each having been formed in its own special way. ... Jump to: navigation, search Aletsch glacier, Switzerland This article is about the geographical formation. ... Jump to: navigation, search The North Pole is the northernmost point on any planet. ... Jump to: navigation, search Neogene Period: A unit of geologic time consisting of the Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene epochs. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The International Commission on Stratigraphy concerns itself with stratigraphy on a global scale. ...


The 1.8-1.6 million years of the Quaternary represents the time during which recognizable humans existed. Over this short a time period, the total amount of continental drift was less than 100 km, which is largely irrelevant to paleontology. The major geographical changes during this time period included periodic closing of the Strait of Gibraltar and the subsequent evaporation of the Mediterranean Sea, followed by the breach and flooding of that sea; the periodic closings of the Strait of Bosphorus and Skaggerak, which respectively turned the Black Sea and Baltic Sea into fresh water, followed by their breaches which flooded the former and drained the latter; the periodic filling of the English Channel, forming a land bridge between Britain and Europe; the periodic closing of the Bering Strait, forming the land bridge between Asia and North America; and the periodic flash flooding of Scablands of the American Northwest by glacial water. The Great Lakes and other major lakes of Canada, and Hudson's Bay, are also just the results of the last cycle, and are temporary. Following every other ice age within the Quaternary, there was a different pattern of lakes and bays. Jump to: navigation, search Portrayal of shifting continents The concept of continental drift was first proposed by Alfred Wegener. ... The Strait of Gibraltar as seen from space. ... Jump to: navigation, search Satellite image The Mediterranean Sea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean almost completely enclosed by land, on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia. ... Jump to: navigation, search Map of the Black Sea. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainlands of Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, and the Danish islands. ... Jump to: navigation, search Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel, also for some time known as the British Sea (French: La Manche, the sleeve) is the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France, and joins the North Sea to... Jump to: navigation, search Satellite photo of the Bering Strait Nautical chart of the Bering Strait The Bering Strait is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, the eastmost point of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, the westernmost point of the American continent, approximately 85 km (58 mi... DrumHeller Channels The Channeled Scablands are unique geological erosion features in the U.S. state of Washington. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ...


The climate was one of periodic glaciations with continental glaciers moving as far from the poles as 40 degrees latitude. Few major new animals evolved, again presumably because of the short—in geologic terms—duration of the period. There was a major extinction of large mammals in Northern areas at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch. Jump to: navigation, search Latitude, sometimes denoted by the Greek letter φ, gives the location of a place on Earth north or south of the Equator. ... Jump to: navigation, search Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution by natural selection. ...


Many forms such as saber-toothed cats, mammoths, mastodons, glyptodonts, etc., became extinct worldwide. Others, including horses, camels and cheetahs became extinct in North America. Jump to: navigation, search The term saber-toothed cat describes numerous cat-like species that lived during various parts of the Cenozoic and evolved their saber-toothed characteristics entirely independently. ... Jump to: navigation, search Species Mammuthus columbi Columbian mammoth Mammuthus exilis Pygmy mammoth Mammuthus jeffersonii Jeffersonian mammoth Mammuthus meridionalis Mammuthus primigenius Wooly mammoth A mammoth (from Russian мамонт) is any of a number of an extinct genus of elephant, often with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of... A Mastodon skeleton in museum in Bismarck, North Dakota. ... Glyptodon (Greek for grooved or carved tooth) was a relative of the armadillo that lived during the Pleistocene Epoch. ... Jump to: navigation, search In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of taxons. ... Jump to: navigation, search Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... Jump to: navigation, search Species Camelus bactrianus Camelus dromedarius A camel is either of the two species of large even-toed ungulate in the genus Camelus, the Dromedary (Single hump) and the Bactrian Camel (Double hump). ... Jump to: navigation, search Binomial name Acinonyx jubatus (Schreber, 1775) The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is an atypical member of the cat family (Felidae) that hunts by speed rather than by stealth or pack tactics. ... Jump to: navigation, search World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America North America is a continent in the northern hemisphere bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on...


The Quaternary glacial period

In 1821, a Swiss engineer, Ignaz Venetz, presented an article in which he suggested the presence of traces of the passage of a glacier at a considerable distance from the Alps. This idea was initially disputed by another Swiss scientist, Louis Agassiz, but when he undertook to disprove it, he ended up affirming his colleague's theory. A year later Agassiz raised the hypothesis of a great glacial period that would have had long-reaching general effects. This idea gained him international fame. Jump to: navigation, search 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (May 28, 1807-December 14, 1873) was a Swiss-born American zoologist, glaciologist, and geologist, the husband of educator Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, and one of the first world-class American scientists. ...


In time, thanks to the refinement of geology, it was verified that there were several periods of forward and backward movement of the glaciers and that past temperatures on Earth were very different from today. In particular, the Milankovitch cycles of Milutin Milankovitch are based on the premise that variations in incoming solar radiation are a fundamental factor controlling Earth's climate. Jump to: navigation, search It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Orbital forcing. ... Milutin Milanković (1879-1958) Milutin Milanković (a. ... Solar irradiance spectrum at top of atmosphere. ...


References

  • The "Quaternary glacial period" section was derived from the article es:Glaciar in the Spanish-language Wikipedia, which was accessed in the version of July 24, 2005.

Jump to: navigation, search July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2005 (MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Tertiary sub-era Quaternary sub-era
Neogene period
Miocene Pliocene Pleistocene Holocene
Aquitanian Burdigalian Zanclean Early  
Langhian Serravallian Piacenzian Middle
Tortonian Messinian Gelasian Late

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Nearctica - Paleontology - Geological Periods - Quarternary (503 words)
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The site also has a series of articles on a variety of topics, mostly related to quarternary vegetation.
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