Glacial geology and the Pleistocene epoch, by Richard Foster Flint

By Richard Foster Flint

GLACIAL GEOLOGY and the Pleistocene Epoch by means of Richard Foster Flint Professor of Geology in xmas collage big apple JOHN WILEY SONS, Inc. London CHAPMAN corridor, constrained To the reminiscence of MAX DEMOREST 1910-1942 striking glaciologist, first-class box better half, beneficiant and considerate good friend, who died to save lots of the lives of others. November 30, 1942 PREFACE The Pleistocene epoch occupies a specifically vital position within the time scale of geology, for it embraces the occasions of the most recent million or extra years within the background of the Earth and is for this reason so contemporary that it bridges the distance among the geologic adjustments now in growth and the extra distant previous. while the paintings of the geologist is completed, wrote Gilbert, 1 and his ultimate accomplished document written, the longest and most vital bankruptcy should be upon the newest and shortest of the geo common sense classes. The bankruptcy could be longest as the remarkable complete ness of the checklist of the most recent interval will permit him to set forth such a lot thoroughly its complicated background. The adjustments of every interval its erosion, its sedimentation, and its metamorphism obliterate a part of the documents of its predecessor and of all previous classes, in order that the order of our wisdom needs to remain, because it now's, the inverse order in their antiquity. This truth in itself furnishes an sufficient cause of making the prin cipal proof of the Pleistocene epoch compactly to be had, not just to geologists but in addition to Geologists, archeologists, geographers, and . others whose stories achieve again into the prehistoric realm. furthermore, the elevated speed of study upon Pleistocene difficulties regularly, and difficulties in glacial geology particularly, that has been obtrusive over the past 20 years has emphasised the need, during this box, of a precis that might be right now a connection with the information already proven and a method of indicating the components and difficulties within which additional examine is such a lot wanted. those are the critical targets of the current quantity. not anyone understands larger than its writer that it falls wanting reach ing them. wisdom of the Pleistocene has grown to such an volume entire reference paintings could develop into an encyclopedia. the resultant necessity for condensation has required the workout of selective judgment at each flip. The record of references on the finish of the publication is way from whole, although an earnest attempt has been made to determine that it's consultant. specifically it may possibly lack vital titles that experience seemed in a few nations through the battle years and that experience now not but been generally disbursed. 1 Gilbert 1890, p. 1. viii PREFACE This dialogue treats the Pleistocene frankly from the viewpoint of glaciation, the exceptional attribute that distinguishes the Pleisto cene from the epochs that preceded it. The slightly bulky name was once chosen with this truth in brain, in an attempt to not create the impact that the paintings is an absolutely balanced therapy of each part of the Pleistocene. As is mentioned in bankruptcy sixteen, the correlations of Pleistocene occasions brought up and prompt are, so far as attainable, these according to geologic proof instead of on archeologic facts. within the presentation of geologic facts itself stream-terrace facts are used as low as attainable within the trust that this type of knowledge is extra often topic to defective interpretation than the knowledge acquired from beneficial properties of alternative forms. specifically this e-book avoids, in correlation, deduction from any concept of Pleistocene climatic fluctuation which units up a set chronology of occasions. This conservative perspective is followed at the precept that merely while the stratigraphic column is equipped up strictly on geologic proof can the impression of prejudice in prefer of a selected idea of weather be avoided...

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2 tains 4 See an excellent treatment in Ahlmann 1935. GENERAL NATURE OF GLACIER MOTION mass of Two 15 loose, granular neve, easily takes place within a single season. sublimation and a melting-refreezing of water vapor escape, chiefly from molecules process. By sublimation, the edges of snowflakes, and attach themselves to the central parts of other snowflakes in such a way as to maintain the hexagonal crystalare processes involved: line structure originally possessed by the flakes. Sublimation thus converts flakes into crystalline granules, each usually a fraction of a millimeter in diameter.

Of exceptionally thick The data given in the following paragraphs on the distribution of accumulation on the ice sheet do not bear out the second mode of origin. Furthermore, as Demorest pointed out, present meteorologic conditions on Greenland should lead to the accumulation of a single elongate dome rather than two or more separate ones. For these reasons Demorest 17 favored the first mode of origin. REGIMEN Nourishment THE "GLACIAL-ANTICYCLONE" HYPOTHESIS. Hobbs 18 advocated In repeated publications that Greenland is beginning nourished by an "anticyclone" set up by the presence of the ice cap.

In their sensitive reaction to climatic differences in successive years, decades, and centuries, glaciers examined over periods of many years arc perhaps the most delicate climatic indicators to which we have access. An extreme example 1 is Black Rapids Glacier, 45 miles south of Big Delta, Alaska. In 1937 the this was 10 miles long. It occupies a valley that drains a large upland basin filled with neve and ice. For many years before 1936 this glacier glacier had been slowly shrinking. Probably late within a period of four or five months it began to expand, and had lengthened by 3 miles.

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