Quaternary glaciation

Series of alternating glacial and interglacial periods This article is about the series of glacial periods during the last 2.58 million years. For the glacial period lasting from 115,000 to 11,700 years ago, see Last Glacial Period. Northern Hemisphere glaciation during the Last Glacial Maximum. The creation of 3 to 4:km (1.9 to 2.5:mi) thick ice sheets equate to a global sea level drop of about 120:m (390:ft)

The Quaternary glaciation, also known as the Pleistocene glaciation, is an alternating series of glacial and interglacial periods during the Quaternary period that began 2.58 Ma (million years ago) and is ongoing. Although geologists describe the entire time period up to the present as an "ice age", in popular culture the term "ice age" is usually associated with just the most recent glacial period during the Pleistocene or the Pleistocene epoch in general. Since planet Earth still has ice sheets, geologists consider the Quaternary glaciation to be ongoing, with the Earth now experiencing an interglacial period.

During the Quaternary glaciation, ice sheets appeared. During glacial periods they expanded, and during interglacial periods they contracted. Since the end of the last glacial period, the only surviving ice sheets are the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. Other ice sheets, such as the Laurentide Ice Sheet, formed during glacial periods, had completely melted and disappeared during interglacials. The major effects of the Quaternary glaciation have been the erosion of land and the deposition of material, both over large parts of the continents; the modification of river systems; the creation of millions of lakes, including the development of pluvial lakes far from the ice margins; changes in sea level; the isostatic adjustment of the Earth's crust; flooding; and abnormal winds. The ice sheets themselves, by raising the albedo (the extent to which the radiant energy of the Sun is reflected from Earth) created significant feedback to further cool the climate. These effects have shaped entire environments on land and in the oceans, and in their associated biological communities.... ...read more

Timeline of glaciation
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Timeline of glaciation ... Ice Age began 34 million years ago, its latest phase being the Quaternary glaciation, in progress since 2.58 million years ago. Within ice ages, there...

Last Glacial Period
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Last Glacial Period ... periods known as the Quaternary glaciation which started around 2,588,000 years ago and is ongoing. The definition of the Quaternary as beginning 2.58 million...

Quaternary
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Quaternary ... Period rocks. The Quaternary Period follows the Neogene Period and extends to the present. The Quaternary covers the time b of glaciations classified as...

Ice age
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Ice age ... the Quaternary glaciation. Individual pulses of cold climate within an ice age are termed glacial periods (or, alternatively, glacials, glaciations, glacial...

Glacial period
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Glacial period ... within the Quaternary glaciation, occurring in the Pleistocene, which began about 110,000 years ago and ended about 15,000 years ago. The glaciations that occurred...

Last Glacial Maximum
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Last Glacial Maximum ... Stephan (2004). "The Pleistocene glaciations of Chile". In Ehlers, J.; Gibbard, P.L. (eds.). Quaternary Glaciations – Extent and Chronology: Part III:...

Illinoian (stage)
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Illinoian (stage) ... & D.S. Fullerton (1986). "Summation of Quaternary glaciations in the United States of America". Quaternary Science Reviews. 5: 183–196. Bibcode:1986QSRv...

Würm glaciation
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Würm glaciation ... Sibrava, V., Bowen, D. Q, and Richmond, G. M.: Quaternary Glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere, Quaternary Science Reviews. vol. 5, 1986, pp. 1–514 Wighart...

Lushan Quaternary Glaciation National Geopark
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Lushan Quaternary Glaciation National Geopark ... area features the effects of Quaternary glaciation, and exceptional geological upthrown fault scarps from the Quaternary age. The resulting stunning landscapes...

Wisconsin glaciation
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Wisconsin glaciation ... The Wisconsin Glacial Episode, also called the Wisconsin glaciation, was the most recent glacial period of the North American ice sheet complex. This advance...

Vashon Glaciation
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Elster glaciation
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Future of Earth
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Champlain Sea
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Weichselian glaciation
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Geography of Finland
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Pleistocene
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Tertiary
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Cordilleran ice sheet
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