Palaeo ice sheet reconstruction

Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Quaternary life The length of the Quaternary is short relative to geologic and evolutionary time scales, but the rate of evolutionary change during this period is high. It is a basic tenet of ecology that disturbance increases diversity and ultimately leads to evolutionary pressures. The Quaternary is replete with forces of disturbance and evidence for evolution in many living systems. Examples of disturbance include the direct destruction of habitat by glacial advance, the drying of vast plains, increases in size of lakes, a decrease in the area of warm, shallow, continental shelves and carbonate banks, and shifts in ocean currents and fronts. Fauna and flora Ninety percent of the animals represented by Quaternary fossils were recognized by Charles Lyell as being similar to modern forms. Many genera and even species of shellfish, insects, marine microfossils, and terrestrial mammals living today are similar or identical to their Pleistocene ancestors.

Precision and accuracy in glacial geology

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Rocky Mountain National Park – Wildlife There are at least 66 indigenous mammals to Rocky Mountain National y bear, gray wolf, and bison have been extirpated (i.e. are locally extinct), and two others – lynx and wolverine – are either extirpated or extremely rare.

View images by clicking on link or reduced image: Each image opens into a new window. These primitive, medium sized apes lived in rain forests between 18 and 22 million years ago. This species and others such as Dryopithecus existed before the hominid line diverged on the path to humans. This lineage ancestral gibbons is believed to have diverged from the great ape and human lineages between 17 and 25 Mya Avers, Oreopithecus ‘s hand closely matches the pattern of early hominids, with a grasping capability including firm pad-to-pad precision gripping that apes are unable to perform presumably as a response to similar functional demands to hominids Moya-Sola et al, Bipedal activities made up a significant part of the positional behavior of this primate Kohler and Moya-Sola, Gorilla and human DNA only differs by 2.

Our DNA differs by only 1. The two species of Pan, the chimpanzee, P. The human ancestral line must have arisen between 5 and 8 million years ago. However, with the many species to be found, the exact sequence of species leading to humanity, has not yet been established. Morphological differences, such as in the pelvis, supports making Neanderthals a separate species, Homo neanderthalensis. The oldest known human fossil, Omo I, is at least , years old.

One more step

March 28, This post is about elevation measurements for exposure-dating samples, and how accurate they need to be. Basically, the main thing that controls cosmogenic-nuclide production rates is site elevation, or, more precisely, atmospheric pressure — at higher elevation, there is less atmosphere between you and the extraterrestrial cosmic-ray flux, so the production rate is higher.

Thus, to compute the cosmogenic-nuclide production rate at a sample site, the first thing we need to know is the elevation. Once we know the elevation, we can convert it to a mean atmospheric pressure using a model for how the atmospheric pressure varies with elevation, and then compute the production rate.

Reconstructing past ice extent means finding past moraines and glaciated terrain. Glacial geologists compile databases and maps of these moraines, interpolating between them and creating isochrones of past ice-sheet extent.

In the sciences, it is important to distinguish between precision and accuracy. If we use the analogue of a clock we can investigate this further. Your wrist watch may measure time with a precision of one second. A stop watch may time your race with a precision of one hundredth of a second. However, if the clocks change and you forget to reset your wrist watch, then you have a very precise time but it is not very accurate — you will be an hour early or late for all of your meetings!

Scientists want measurements that are both accurate and precise… but it can be difficult to tell sometimes whether very precise measurements are actually accurate without an independent reference age see top right image versus bottom right image. Accurate measurements fall in the bulls eye. Precise measurements are tightly clustered. Accurate and precise measurements are tightly clustered in the bulls eye!

This is a problem we regularly encounter in chronostratigraphy. Analytical techniques are very advanced and precise, but they may be inaccurate.

Glossary of Glacier Terms

Whilst recent terrestrial and marine empirical insights have improved understanding of the chronology, pattern and rates of retreat of this vast ice sheet, a concerted attempt to model the deglaciation of the EISC honouring these new constraints is conspicuously lacking. Retreat of the ice sheet complex was highly asynchronous, reflecting contrasting regional sensitivities to climate forcing, oceanic influence, and internal dynamics.

Most rapid retreat was experienced across the Barents Sea sector after Independent glacio-isostatic modelling constrained by an extensive inventory of relative sea-level change corroborates our ice sheet loading history of the Barents Sea sector. Subglacial conditions were predominately temperate during deglaciation, with over subglacial lakes predicted along with an extensive subglacial drainage network.

Tacora is a stratovolcano located in the Andes of the Arica y Parinacota Region of ing Peru, it is the northernmost volcano of is part of the Central Volcanic Zone in Chile, one of the four volcanic belts of the Andes. The Central Volcanic Zone has several of the highest volcanoes in the world. Tacora itself is a stratovolcano with a caldera and a crater.

The CVZ generates magmas at a rate of 0. The arc has migrated eastward towards the high Andes from the Pacific Ocean coast since the Jurassic. The Aucanquilcha complex is much smaller volumetrically than the APVC ignimbrites, but the duration of activity and the location indicate that Aucanquilcha is a subcomponent of the APVC complex. In all such cases, an early peak in magma output is followed by later lower-volume activity 0.

Such decreases may occur because of the lithostatic load imposed by the edifices on the magma chambers and the increased travel distance of the magma through the edifice. Aucanquilcha is part of a cluster of volcanoes located between the Rio Loa and the Chile — Bolivia border. It was at first identified as a debris avalanche , but the lack of hummocky topography and the presence of large juvenile blocks identify it as a pyroclastic flow.

It is likely that two small lava domes Cerro Cumbre Negra and Summit on the northwest flank occupy flank vents. On its southern side lies the Cerro Chela volcano. Its volcanoes are arranged in north-south and northwestern alignments, which may indicate a rupture of the crust above shallow magma reservoirs. The proximal parts of the slide are covered by younger eruptive products and also by moraines , indicating that the slide was followed by at least one glacial episode.

Precision and accuracy in glacial geology

Donau There are four named major glaciations in North America. The earliest, the Nebraskan , is found on the plains of the central United States. The Kansan overlies it and extends slightly farther southwest into Kansas.

This series shows the physical processes and human activities that shape our planet. From earthquakes and volcanoes to the creation of sea-floor crusts and shifting river courses, Earth Revealed offers stunning visuals that explain plate tectonics and other geologic concepts and principles. Follow geologists in the field as they explore the primal forces of the Earth.

Devonian Relics Earth Sculpted by Ice: Near the end of the Devonian Period some million years ago – long before Earth’s Ice Ages – Illinois, as well as much of the Midwestern United States, was at the bottom of a shallow sea teeming with life. The seabed in this region was iron-rich and oily with decayed sea life.

Much of the ancient plants that came later during the Pennsylvanian Period mya became coal in this region. After the water had steamed away, a smooth, reddish-brown mass rich in silicates was left. Most of this material became microcrystalline jasper. Some of the silicates crystallized into cavities such as geodes but also within Devonian fossils, sometimes replicating the original animal in great crystalline detail. Often mistaken for the common Turkey Vulture, Zone-tailed Hawks do not have the predominate white coloration in the tail feathers and are active predators rather than scavengers.

The light-colored “wing” is a natural part of the body stone. Black w brown jasper, 2 parts. Jasper is a term which refers to a member of the chalcedony family of microcrystalline quartz which includes flint, agate and opal. Chalcedony silicon dioxide – often with some iron and aluminum itself is an opaque to translucent quartz, usually white with pale blue or gray tint and with a wax-like luster.


The results are called ice bergs, bergy bits and crevasse wall breakaways. Water can be drawn upwards by capillary action. After glaciation, the depression may contain a lake.

La vallée des Merveilles est une vallée du massif du Mercantour dans les Alpes où ont été découvertes plus de 40 gravures rupestres protohistoriques, datant du Chalcolithique et de l’âge du bronze ancien, au milieu d’autres gravures plus récentes [1.

Nelson Tulane University Glaciers constitute much of the Earth that makes up the cryosphere, the part of the Earth that remains below the freezing point of water. Most glacial ice today is found in the polar regions, above the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. While glaciers are of relatively minor importance today, evidence exists that the Earth’s climate has undergone fluctuations in the past, and that the amount of the Earth’s surface covered by glaciers has been much larger in the past than in the present.

In fact, much of the topography in the northern part of North America, as well as in the high mountain regions of the west, owe their form to erosional and depositional processes of glaciers. The latest glaciation ended only 10, years ago. Definition of a glacier A glacier is a permanent on a human time scale, because nothing on the Earth is really permanent body of ice, consisting largely of recrystallized snow, that shows evidence of downslope or outward movement due to the pull of gravity.

Types of Glaciers – Relatively small glaciers which occur at higher elevations in mountainous regions. Smallest of these occupy hollows or bowl-shaped depressions on sides of mountains cirque glaciers. As cirque glaciers grow larger they may spread into valleys and flow down the valleys as valley glaciers. Paths these valley glaciers take are controlled by existing topography. If a valley glacier extends down to sea level, it may carve a narrow valley into the coastline.


Research into glaciation cycles began in the 19th century, but scientists still can’t agree on why ice ages occur. Now there’s new evidence that a cold epoch is in the wings. Those of us who live in the Midwest United States seem to have the worst of both worlds. Hot humid summers, where the temperature often reaches 95 degrees, and cold winters where the mercury can plummet to zero.

Despite these seemingly unbearable extremes, we live in a land of plenty because of the most fertile soil in the world, courtesy of the Great Ice Age.

Quaternary: Quaternary, in the geologic history of Earth, a unit of time within the Cenozoic Era, beginning 2,, years ago and continuing to the present day. The Quaternary has been characterized by several periods of glaciation (the “ice ages” of common lore), when ice sheets many kilometres thick have.

Magnitudes and rates of change under different environmental scenarios The past is the key to the future Sea level rise to Modified from the IPCC sea level rise estimates from Wikimedia Commons and using estimates from Bamber and Aspinall , assuming a uniform rate of sea level rise. By examining how ice sheets responded to change in the past, glaciologists hope to uncover details that will help them understand how they are likely to change in the future.

By looking at how ice sheets changed over long timescales, they can extend the short observation period over the Antarctic Ice Sheet. For example, ice streams in Antarctica have been observed to change, accelerate, switch off and recede. Is this normal behaviour? By looking at past ice stream change, for example in the last British Ice Sheet, we can gain a far better understanding of how ice streams evolve over far longer timescales.

Thresholds and tipping points are crucial. We worry that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is unstable and could catastrophically collapse.

Vallée des Merveilles


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AS level geography- kames