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Terrestrial stratigraphical division in the quaternary and its correlation

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Article

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Abstract

Initially, terrestrial evidence formed the foundation for the division of Quaternary time. However, since the 1970s there has been an abandonment of the terrestrial stage chronostratigraphy, which is based on locally-dominated successions, in favour of the marine oxygen isotope stratigraphy which largely records global-scale changes in ice volume. However, it is now clear that glacial records around the world are asynchronous, even at the scale of the continental ice sheets which display marked contrasts in extent and timing in different glacial cycles. Consequently, the marine isotope record does not reflect global patterns of glaciation, nor other terrestrial processes, on land. This has led to inappropriate correlation of terrestrial records with the marine isotopic record. The low resolution of the latter has led to a preferential shift towards high-resolution ice-core records for global correlation. However, even in the short-term, most terrestrial records display spatial variation in response to global climate fluctuations, and changes recorded on land are often diachronous, asynchronous or both, leading to difficulties in global correlation. Thus, whilst the marine and the ice-core records are very useful in providing global frameworks through time, it must be recognised that there exist significant problems and challenges for terrestrial correlation.

Description

Keywords

37 Earth Sciences, 3709 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience, 3705 Geology

Journal Title

Journal of the Geological Society

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0016-7649
2041-479X

Volume Title

178

Publisher

Geological Society of London

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All rights reserved
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none