Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

2011 Edition
| Editors: Vijay P. Singh, Pratap Singh, Umesh K. Haritashya

Quaternary Glaciation

  • Jürgen Ehlers
  • Philip GibbardEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2642-2_423

Synonyms

Ice age; Last glacial maximum; Pleistocene

Definition

The Quaternary is the youngest Period/System division of the Geological Time Scale and represents 2.6 million years of geological time. It spans the Pleistocene (2.6–0.11 Ma) and Holocene (0.11–0 Ma) Series and includes the present day. It is essentially the “Ice Age” of popular terminology.

The term Last Glacial Maximum or LGM is widely used to refer to the maximum global ice volume during the last glacial cycle corresponding with the trough in the marine isotope record centered on ca. 18 14C Ka BP (Martinson et al., 1987) and the associated global eustatic sea-level low also dated to 18 14C Ka BP (Yokoyama et al., 2000).

Introduction

Since the recognition in the mid-nineteenth century that glaciers had been considerably more extensive than at present, the Quaternary has been synonymous with glaciation of the mid-latitudes. Today evidence from both the land and ocean-floor sediment sequences demonstrates that the major...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geologisches LandesamtHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Quaternary Palaeoenvironments Group, Cambridge Quaternary, Department of GeographyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK