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December 18, 2016 Weekly Geology Guess of the Pleistocene Epoch

December 17, 2016

Hey:    We are about to run out of geologic column for the time being.

I need fresh geologic ideas or a rerun of old ideas to continue with these weekly geologic rants.


Mineralogy + Petrology + Geochemistry = Pretty and Novel Minerals and rocks. 

Geomorphology = Land Forms.   Structural Geology = Faults and Folding. 

Stratigraphy = the study of layered rocks.

What For and Why to Study this stuff??? = “The Good Life from the Ground”  “If it ain’t grown, it has to be mined.”  R


Geology Images:;_ylt=A0LEVijOQ0xYL7UA1XgPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=Geology&fr=yhs-befrugal-002&hspart=befrugal&hsimp=yhs-002





Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:

My discussion on Alabama Geology will continue with the Geologic Time Scale or the Geologic Column and the critters that abide within each pigeon holes.

As with most sciences, especially natural sciences, we love to pigeon hole our data.  Most of the pigeon holes have scientific merit and accuracy.  With the Geologic Time Scale we start with the oldest layers and work upward to the youngest layers.

For some of you this will be new, novel, and maybe heretical.

Expedition Earth: Geological time scale
Cenozoic Era
                            (Age of Mammals and the Age of Birds)

“The Cenozoic Era (pronunciation: /ˌsnəˈzɪk, ˌsɛ/;[1][2] also Cænozoic, Caenozoic or Cainozoic pronunciation: /ˌknəˈzɪk, ˌk/;[3][4] meaning “new life”, from Greek καινός kainos “new”, and ζωή zoe “life”[5]) is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras, following the Mesozoic Era and covering the period from 66 million years ago to present day.

The Cenozoic is also known as the Age of Mammals and the Age of Birds, because of the large mammals and birds that dominated, such as Entelodont, Paraceratherium, Gastornis and Basilosaurus. The extinction of many large Diapsid groups such as non-avian dinosaurs, Plesiosauria and Pterosauria allowed the mammals and birds to greatly diversify and be the predominant fauna, even to the present day.

                        Pleistocene Epoch

The Quaternary Period is divided into two epochs: the Pleistocene (2.588 million years ago to 11.7 thousand years ago) and the Holocene (11.7 thousand years ago to today).

“The Pleistocene (pronunciation: /ˈplstəˌsn, t/,[1] often colloquially referred to as the Ice Age) is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period and also with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology.”

>    This was the time of the 11 Major Ice Ages.

The write up in Wikipedia includes a lot of interesting details.


Alabama Quaternary Period Paleontology and Geology

“During the Quaternary, sea level fluctuated, as glaciers grew and melted in the northern part of North America. Although these glaciers never extended to Alabama, they impacted both the climate and biodiversity of the state. Forests of northern conifers such as spruce covered northern Alabama, while mixed, drought-tolerant forests and grasslands dominated the south. Fossils of huge animals such as mammoths, mastodons, and giant ground sloths are routinely discovered in streams and sinkholes across the state, testifying that these huge beasts called Alabama home during this time.”

Pleistocene River Terrace Deposits.  by Jim Lacefield.

Alabama Ice Age Mammals include the giant sloth, mammoth and mastodon, sabertooth cat, bison, dire wolf, camels, giant armadillos, giant beavers, horse, just to name a few.

Pleistocene Images
Pliocene Videos    (You may graze away at your heart’s content)

>    As some of you will notice, as we go up the geologic column the more complex and numerous life becomes.

>    As with most of my weekly fores into geology, with each topic I could write many papers and dissertations.
Note:  I have intentionally reduced the amount of linked graphics in this email due to the amount of space required and trying to untangle everything the following week has been a mess.
References include:


–    Wikipedia
–    “Lost Worlds of Alabama”, Second Edition, 2013, by Jim Lacefield


Editors Note:  It is the intent of this site to keep this discussion as simple as possible, so as to educate the interested general public and not to discuss with the geology crowd the latest geologic theories and nuances.  Thanks, R

“No copyright infringement intended.

The rights belong to their respective owners”

Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Author’s Request:  If you see any pictures that you know the source and photographer, let me know immediately.  Thanks!  R

Images have been searched by TinEye Reverse Image Search.


Next time we will venture into the Holocene Epoch (Recent), and we will run out of geologic time.
Enjoy the adventure!


















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