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Quaternary
Quaternary
( /kwəˈtɜːrnəri/) is the current and most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
Era in the geologic time scale of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS).[5] It follows the Neogene
Neogene
Period and spans from 2.588 ± 0.005 million years ago to the present.[5] The Quaternary
Quaternary
Period is divided into two epochs: the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
(2.588 million years ago to 11.7 thousand years ago) and the Holocene
Holocene
(11.7 thousand years ago to today).[5] The informal term "Late Quaternary" refers to the past 0.5–1.0 million years.[6] The Quaternary
Quaternary
Period is typically defined by the cyclic growth and decay of continental ice sheets associated with Milankovitch cycles and the associated climate and environmental changes that occurred.[7][8]

Contents

1 Research history 2 Geology 3 Climate 4 Quaternary
Quaternary
glaciation

4.1 Last glacial period

5 Journals relating to the Quaternary
Quaternary
Period 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Research history[edit] The term Quaternary
Quaternary
("fourth") was proposed by Giovanni Arduino in 1759 for alluvial deposits in the Po River
Po River
valley in northern Italy. It was introduced by Jules Desnoyers in 1829 for sediments of France's Seine
Seine
Basin that seemed clearly to be younger than Tertiary Period rocks.[9][10] The Quaternary
Quaternary
Period follows the Neogene
Neogene
Period and extends to the present. The Quaternary
Quaternary
covers the time span of glaciations classified as the Pleistocene, and includes the present interglacial time-period, the Holocene. This places the start of the Quaternary
Quaternary
at the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation approximately 2.6 million years ago. Prior to 2009, the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
was defined to be from 1.805 million years ago to the present, so the current definition of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
includes a portion of what was, prior to 2009, defined as the Pliocene.

Subdivisions of the Quaternary
Quaternary
System

System/ Period Series/ Epoch Stage/ Age Age (Ma)

Quaternary Holocene 0 0.0117

Pleistocene 'Tarantian' 0.0117 0.126

'Chibanian' 0.126 0.781

Calabrian 0.781 1.80

Gelasian 1.80 2.58

Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian older

Subdivision of the Quaternary
Quaternary
period according to the ICS, as of 2017.[11] 'Chibanian' and 'Tarantian' are informal, unofficial names proposed to replace the also informal, unofficial 'Middle Pleistocene' and 'Upper Pleistocene' subseries/subepochs respectively.

In Europe and North America, the Holocene
Holocene
is subdivided into Preboreal, Boreal, Atlantic, Subboreal, and Subatlantic
Subatlantic
stages of the Blytt–Sernander time scale. There are many regional subdivisions for the Upper or Late Pleistocene; usually these represent locally recognized cold (glacial) and warm (interglacial) periods. The last glacial period ends with the cold Younger Dryas
Younger Dryas
substage.

Quaternary
Quaternary
stratigraphers usually worked with regional subdivisions. From the 1970s, the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) tried to make a single geologic time scale based on GSSP's, which could be used internationally. The Quaternary
Quaternary
subdivisions were defined based on biostratigraphy instead of paleoclimate. This led to the problem that the proposed base of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
was at 1.805 Mya, long after the start of the major glaciations of the northern hemisphere. The ICS then proposed to abolish use of the name Quaternary
Quaternary
altogether, which appeared unacceptable to the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA). In 2009, it was decided to make the Quaternary
Quaternary
the youngest period of the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
Era with its base at 2.588 Mya and including the Gelasian stage, which was formerly considered part of the Neogene
Neogene
Period and Pliocene
Pliocene
Epoch.[12] The Anthropocene
Anthropocene
has been proposed as a third epoch as a mark of the anthropogenic impact on the global environment starting with the Industrial Revolution, or about 200 years ago.[13] The Anthropocene
Anthropocene
is not officially designated by the ICS, however, but a working group is currently aiming to complete a proposal for the creation of an epoch or sub-period by 2016.[14] Geology[edit] Further information: Quaternary
Quaternary
geology The 2.6 million years of the Quaternary
Quaternary
represents the time during which recognizable humans existed. Over this short time period, there has been relatively little change in the distribution of the continents due to plate tectonics. The Quaternary
Quaternary
geological record is preserved in greater detail than that for earlier periods. The major geographical changes during this time period included the emergence of the Strait of Bosphorus
Bosphorus
and Skagerrak
Skagerrak
during glacial epochs, which respectively turned the Black Sea
Black Sea
and Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
into fresh water, followed by their flooding (and return to salt water) by rising sea level; the periodic filling of the English Channel, forming a land bridge between Britain and the European mainland; the periodic closing of the Bering Strait, forming the land bridge between Asia and North America; and the periodic flash flooding of Scablands
Scablands
of the American Northwest by glacial water. The current extent of Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
and other major lakes of North America
North America
are a consequence of the Canadian Shield's readjustment since the last ice age; different shorelines have existed over the course of Quaternary
Quaternary
time. Climate[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2015)

The climate was one of periodic glaciations with continental glaciers moving as far from the poles as 40 degrees latitude. There was a major extinction of large mammals in Northern areas at the end of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Epoch. Many forms such as saber-toothed cats, mammoths, mastodons, glyptodonts, etc., became extinct worldwide. Others, including horses, camels and American cheetahs became extinct in North America.[15][16] Quaternary
Quaternary
glaciation[edit] Main article: Quaternary
Quaternary
glaciation Glaciation took place repeatedly during the Quaternary
Quaternary
Ice Age – a term coined by Schimper in 1839 that began with the start of the Quaternary
Quaternary
about 2.58 Mya and continues to the present day. Last glacial period[edit]

Artist's impression of Earth during the Last Glacial
Glacial
Maximum

Main article: Last 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 hypothesis. 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 and led to the establishment of the Glacial
Glacial
Theory. In time, thanks to the refinement of geology, it has been demonstrated that there were several periods of glacial advance and retreat and that past temperatures on Earth were very different from today. In particular, the Milankovitch cycles
Milankovitch cycles
of Milutin Milankovitch
Milutin Milankovitch
are based on the premise that variations in incoming solar radiation are a fundamental factor controlling Earth's climate. During this time, substantial glaciers advanced and retreated over much of North America
North America
and Europe, parts of South America and Asia, and all of Antarctica. The Great Lakes
Great Lakes
formed and giant mammals thrived in parts of North America
North America
and Eurasia not covered in ice. These mammals became extinct when the glacial period Age ended about 11,700 years ago. Modern humans evolved about 315,000 years ago. During the Quaternary
Quaternary
Period, mammals, flowering plants, and insects dominated the land.[citation needed] Journals relating to the Quaternary
Quaternary
Period[edit]

Boreas - An International Journal of Quaternary
Quaternary
Research Geografiska Annaler (only the title is in Swedish) Journal of Quaternary
Quaternary
Science Quaternary
Quaternary
Geochronology Quaternary
Quaternary
International Quaternary
Quaternary
Research Quaternary
Quaternary
Science Reviews The Quaternary
Quaternary
Times

See also[edit]

List of Quaternary
Quaternary
volcanic eruptions Quaternary
Quaternary
extinction event Quaternary
Quaternary
science

References[edit]

^ Image:Sauerstoffgehalt-1000mj.svg ^ File:OxygenLevel-1000ma.svg ^ Image: Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
Carbon Dioxide.png ^ Image:All palaeotemps.png ^ a b c Cohen, K.M.; Finney, S.C.; Gibbard, P.L.; Fan, J.-X. "International Chronostratigraphic Chart 2013" (PDF). stratigraphy.org. ICS. Retrieved 15 June 2014.  ^ Earthquake Glossary - Late Quaternary
Quaternary
U.S. Geological Survey ^ Denton, G.H.; Anderson, R.F.; Toggweiler, J.R.; Edwards, R.L.; Schaefer, J.M.; Putnam, A.E. (2010). "The Last Glacial
Glacial
Termination". Science. 328: 1652–1656. doi:10.1126/science.1184119.  ^ Lowe, J.J.; Walker, M.J.C. (1997). Reconstructing Quaternary Environments. Routledge. ISBN 0582101662.  ^ "Late Quaternary
Quaternary
Fluvial and Coastal Sequences Chapter 1: Introduction" (PDF). Retrieved March 26, 2017.  ^ Wiz Science™ (2015-09-28), Quaternary
Quaternary
- Video Learning - WizScience.com, retrieved 2017-03-26  ^ Fan, Junxuan; Hou, Xudong. "International Chronostratigraphic Chart". International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved February 11, 2018.  ^ See the 2009 version of the ICS geologic time scale ^ Zalasiewicz, J.; Williams, M.; Haywood, A.; Ellis, M. (2011). "The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 369 (1938): 835–841. doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0339. PMID 21282149.  ^ "Working Group on the 'Anthropocene'". Subcomission on Quaternary Stratigraphy. Retrieved 16 June 2014.  ^ Haynes. "Stanford Camelops" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-09.  ^ "Extinct American Cheetah Fact Sheet". library.sandiegozoo.org. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 

External links[edit]

Wikisource has original works on the topic: Cenozoic#Quaternary

Subcommission on Quaternary
Quaternary
Stratigraphy Global correlation tables for the Quaternary Gibbard, P.L., S. Boreham, K.M. Cohen and A. Moscariello, 2005, Global chronostratigraphical correlation table for the last 2.7 million years v. 2005c., PDF version 220 KB. Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England Gibbard, P.L., S. Boreham, K.M. Cohen and A. Moscariello, 2007, Global chronostratigraphical correlation table for the last 2.7 million years v. 2007b., jpg version 844 KB. Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England Silva, P.G. C. Zazo, T. Bardají, J. Baena, J. Lario, A. Rosas, J. Van der Made. 2009, «Tabla Cronoestratigrafíca del Cuaternario en la Península Ibérica - V.2». [Versión PDF, 3.6 Mb]. Asociación Española para el Estudio del Cuaternario (AEQUA), Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. (Corelation chart of European Quaternary
Quaternary
and cultural stages and fossils) Welcome to the XVIII INQUA-Congress, Bern, 2011 Media related to Quaternary
Quaternary
at Wikimedia Commons

v t e

Quaternary
Quaternary
Period

Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Epoch Holocene
Holocene
Epoch

Early Middle Late

Preboreal Boreal Atlantic Subboreal Subatlantic

v t e

Geologic history of Earth

Cenozoic
Cenozoic
era¹ (present–66.0 Mya)

Quaternary
Quaternary
(present–2.588 Mya)

Holocene
Holocene
(present–11.784 kya) Pleistocene
Pleistocene
(11.784 kya–2.588 Mya)

Neogene
Neogene
(2.588–23.03 Mya)

Pliocene
Pliocene
(2.588–5.333 Mya) Miocene
Miocene
(5.333–23.03 Mya)

Paleogene (23.03–66.0 Mya)

Oligocene
Oligocene
(23.03–33.9 Mya) Eocene
Eocene
(33.9–56.0 Mya) Paleocene
Paleocene
(56.0–66.0 Mya)

Mesozoic
Mesozoic
era¹ (66.0–251.902 Mya)

Cretaceous
Cretaceous
(66.0–145.0 Mya)

Late (66.0–100.5 Mya) Early (100.5–145.0 Mya)

Jurassic
Jurassic
(145.0–201.3 Mya)

Late (145.0–163.5 Mya) Middle (163.5–174.1 Mya) Early (174.1–201.3 Mya)

Triassic
Triassic
(201.3–251.902 Mya)

Late (201.3–237 Mya) Middle (237–247.2 Mya) Early (247.2–251.902 Mya)

Paleozoic
Paleozoic
era¹ (251.902–541.0 Mya)

Permian
Permian
(251.902–298.9 Mya)

Lopingian
Lopingian
(251.902–259.8 Mya) Guadalupian
Guadalupian
(259.8–272.3 Mya) Cisuralian
Cisuralian
(272.3–298.9 Mya)

Carboniferous
Carboniferous
(298.9–358.9 Mya)

Pennsylvanian (298.9–323.2 Mya) Mississippian (323.2–358.9 Mya)

Devonian
Devonian
(358.9–419.2 Mya)

Late (358.9–382.7 Mya) Middle (382.7–393.3 Mya) Early (393.3–419.2 Mya)

Silurian
Silurian
(419.2–443.8 Mya)

Pridoli (419.2–423.0 Mya) Ludlow (423.0–427.4 Mya) Wenlock (427.4–433.4 Mya) Llandovery (433.4–443.8 Mya)

Ordovician
Ordovician
(443.8–485.4 Mya)

Late (443.8–458.4 Mya) Middle (458.4–470.0 Mya) Early (470.0–485.4 Mya)

Cambrian
Cambrian
(485.4–541.0 Mya)

Furongian (485.4–497 Mya) Series 3 (497–509 Mya) Series 2 (509–521 Mya) Terreneuvian
Terreneuvian
(521–541.0 Mya)

Proterozoic
Proterozoic
eon² (541.0 Mya–2.5 Gya)

Neoproterozoic era (541.0 Mya–1 Gya)

Ediacaran
Ediacaran
(541.0-~635 Mya) Cryogenian (~635-~720 Mya) Tonian (~720 Mya-1 Gya)

Mesoproterozoic era (1–1.6 Gya)

Stenian (1-1.2 Gya) Ectasian (1.2-1.4 Gya) Calymmian (1.4-1.6 Gya)

Paleoproterozoic era (1.6–2.5 Gya)

Statherian (1.6-1.8 Gya) Orosirian
Orosirian
(1.8-2.05 Gya) Rhyacian (2.05-2.3 Gya) Siderian
Siderian
(2.3-2.5 Gya)

Archean
Archean
eon² (2.5–4 Gya)

Eras

Neoarchean (2.5–2.8 Gya) Mesoarchean (2.8–3.2 Gya) Paleoarchean
Paleoarchean
(3.2–3.6 Gya) Eoarchean
Eoarchean
(3.6–4 Gya)

Hadean
Hadean
eon² (4–4.6 Gya)

 

 

kya = thousands years ago. Mya = millions years ago. Gya = billions years ago.¹ = Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
eon. ² = Precambrian
Precambrian
supereon. Source: (2017/02). International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 13 July 2015. Divisions of Geologic Time—Major Chronostratigraphic and Geochronologic Units USGS Retrieved 10 March 2013.

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Climatology
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Coastal geography
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Edaphology
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science

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