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    UGA Sedimentary Geochemistry Laboratory
    c/o Bruce Railsback
    Department of Geology
    University of Georgia
    Athens, Georgia 30602-2501 USA

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Fundamentals of Quaternary Science

© 2017 L. Bruce Railsback, Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-2501 U.S.A.

        This website makes available some one-page illustrations of topics in Quaternary Science.  They are formatted for use in lectures and presentations or as course handouts.   They in no way substitute for a textbook, because no attempt is made at a complete treatment of all topics.   Many of the illustrations are taken directly from Railsback's Some Fundamentals of Mineralogy and Geochemistry.

        The pages are available here independently in pdf and jpeg formats.  Users of these illustrations in Powerpoint lectures to students are reminded that some of the illustrations carry a lot of information.  Users can customize their lectures by using Powerpoint's "basic shapes" tools to add filled rectangles that conceal a part or parts of any given illustration.  Removal or reduction of the rectangles can then unveil more of that illustration in successive Powerpoint "slides".

        Educators are welcome to use these documents in their lectures and presentations; a message to Railsback reporting such use would be appreciated.  Permission from Railsback is required for use in publications, Web-based documents, or other non-classroom use.

        The most recent additions occurred on 14 February 2017. 

 

 

Table of Contents:  

       The nature of Quaternary Science
       The nature of Quaternary records
       Quaternary geochronology
       Quaternary time series
       Processes and drivers I: climate
       Processes and drivers II: glaciation
       The most important Quaternary animal
       Recent climate change


Title of Document     pdf       jpeg

The nature of Quaternary Science

       

What is the Quaternary?

    pdf jpeg

Why care about the Quaternary?

    pdf jpeg

A timeline of the history of Quaternary and paleoclimate studies

    pdf jpeg

Scientific journals focusing on the Quaternary

    pdf jpeg

Diminishing knowledge with increasing age through Quaternary time

    pdf jpeg

The nature of Quaternary records

       

From deep-sea sediments to paleoclimate records

    pdf jpeg

Stalagmites of CaCO3 as records of past environmental/climatological change

    pdf jpeg

Controls on the δ13C and δ18O of spelean CaCO3

    pdf jpeg

Intelligent sampling of layered deposits, like stalagmites

    pdf jpeg

The temporal extent of Quaternary records and dating methods

    pdf jpeg

Calibration of radiocarbon dates I

    pdf jpeg

Calibration of radiocarbon dates II

    pdf jpeg

Radiometric dating via U-series disequlibrium I

      jpeg

Radiometric dating via U-series disequlibrium II

      jpeg

Quaternary geochronology

       

What is the Quaternary?

    pdf jpeg

The bias of Quaternary geochronology toward the recent

    pdf jpeg

Marine isotope stages and substages

    pdf jpeg

The integrated schizophrenia of Quaternary geochronology I

    pdf jpeg

The integrated schizophrenia of Quaternary geochronology II

    pdf jpeg

The four glaciations inferred by early North American geologists

      jpeg

The Holocene and MIS 1: not quite the same

    pdf jpeg

AD, CE, BC, BP, calendar years, radiocarbon years, and all that

    pdf jpeg

Quaternary time series

       

Instrumental record of Earth's average temperature

    pdf jpeg

Temperatures from the Last Glacial Maximum to the future

    pdf jpeg

Temperatures from the Middle Pleistocene to the future

    pdf jpeg

Northern Hemisphere climate over the past 2000 years

      jpeg

Holocene ice core isotopic records, climatic events, and human history

      jpeg

Holocene temperature change recorded in Greenland ice cores

    pdf jpeg

The Holocene Thermal Maximum, I: the early-Holocene alternative

    pdf jpeg

The Holocene Thermal Maximum, II: the mid-Holocene alternative

    pdf jpeg

Terminology and timing of some later Quaternary climatic events

      jpeg

The last glacial cycle in marine sediments, Greenland ice, and Antarctic ice

    pdf jpeg

Changing sea-surface temperature and sea level over the last nineteen marine isotope stages

    pdf jpeg

The Paleolithic in the context of oxygen isotope records of Cenozoic global cooling and glaciation

      jpeg

Five million years of climate and hominin history

      jpeg

Oxygen isotope records of Cenozoic global cooling and glaciation

      jpeg

Processes and drivers I: climate

       

Global climate zones Ia: building an idealized simple view

    pdf jpeg

Global climate zones Ib: building an idealized simple view

    pdf jpeg

Global climate zones Ic: building an idealized simple view

    pdf jpeg

Global climate zones Id: an idealized simple view

    pdf jpeg

Global climate zones II: an idealized simple view, with weather

    pdf jpeg

Global climate zones III: an idealized simple view, with seasons and weather

    pdf jpeg

Global climate zones IV: an idealized simple view, with seasons and continents

    pdf jpeg

Global climate zones V: an idealized simple view, with seasons and a huge continent

    pdf jpeg

   Global climate zones: a Powerpoint file of the eight pages above

      ppt

Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation I: an overview

    pdf jpeg

Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation II: summer rainfall

    pdf jpeg

Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation III: equinoctial rainfall

    pdf jpeg

Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation IV: warm-season rainfall

    pdf jpeg

Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation V: winter precipitation

    pdf jpeg

Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation VI: winter-and-summer

    pdf jpeg

Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation VII: some extreme cases

    pdf jpeg

    Seasonality of atmospheric precipitation: a Powerpoint file of the seven pages above

      ppt

Four understandings of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (the ITCZ)

    pdf jpeg

Shifts of the ITCZ with changing NH temperature

    pdf jpeg

A very schematic explanation of the bipolar seesaw

    pdf jpeg

Processes and drivers II: glaciation

       

Seasonality and the survival of glacial ice

    pdf jpeg

Milankovitch cycles I: eccentricity of Earth's orbit, seasonality, and extent of glaciation

    pdf jpeg

Milankovitch cycles II: tilt of Earth's axis, seasonality, and extent of glaciation

    pdf jpeg

Milankovitch cycles III: precession of the seasons, seasonality, and extent of glaciation

    pdf jpeg

Change of sea level and seawater δ18O with glaciation

    pdf jpeg

The world from the Cretaceous to the Quaternary

    pdf jpeg

Quaternary climate change: similarity of pattern despite difference in scale.

    pdf jpeg

The most important Quaternary animal

       

Advances in human cognitive/psychological evolution 1: language

    pdf jpeg

Advances in human cognitive/psychological evolution 2: temporal perspective

    pdf jpeg

Advances in human cognitive/psychological evolution 2: relational perspective

    pdf jpeg

Advances in human cognitive/psychological evolution 4: literacy

    pdf jpeg

Recent climate change

Global temperature change 1880-2016: one summary plot

    pdf jpeg

Global temperature change 1880-2016: land vs. ocean

    pdf jpeg

Global temperature change 1880-2016: Northern vs. Southern Hemisphere

    pdf jpeg

Temperatures from the Middle Pleistocene to the future

    pdf jpeg

Temperatures from the Last Glacial Maximum to the future

    pdf jpeg

The variability of weather and the predictability of climate

    pdf jpeg

Holocene variation in atmospheric CO2 and global temperature

    pdf jpeg

Human introduction of CO2 to the atmosphere I: fossil fuels

    pdf jpeg

Human introduction of CO2 to the atmosphere II: landscape modification

    pdf jpeg

Per capita CO2 emissions

    pdf jpeg
 


 


 

e-mail to Bruce Railsback (rlsbk@gly.uga.edu)
Railsback's main web page
UGA Geology Department web page
 


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