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Quaternary Stratigraphy and Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact James Craig.

The Quaternary represents the last 2.6 Ma of geological time, and includes the present day. Although it is generally regarded as the Ice Age, in fact the period is characterised by numerous rapid climatic changes at a range of scales, some as short as a few hundred years. These oscillations saw major periods that were characterised by substantial glaciation of what today are temperate regions in both the northern and southern hemispheres, alternating with warm intervals which are characterised by conditions comparable to those at present. The reconstruction of events through this short period is based upon a wide range of evidence that is represented from mountains to the deep oceans. In all cases the deciphering of these events strongly depends on the application of high to ultra-high resolution stratigraphical analysis. This necessitates complex multi-disciplinary investigation incorporating many contributory disciplines, the results of which when integrated present a remarkable vision of past environmental evolution. It is vitally important to establish the event chronology of Quaternary successions since it not only provides a detailed picture of changing environments but it also plays a major role in climatic reconstruction as input to models for prediction of potential future climatic changes. The talk will concentrate on the application and contribution of terrestrial stratigraphy.

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This talk is part of the Sedgwick Club talks series.

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