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Abstract

The effects of Pleistocene cold-climate geomorphology are distributed across the weathered and eroded Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain uplands from the Wisconsinan terminal moraine south to Tidewater Virginia. Cold-climate deposits and landscape modifications are superimposed on antecedent landscapes of old, weathered Neogene upland gravels and Pleistocene marine terraces that had been built during warm periods and sea-level highstands. In New Jersey, sequences of surficial deposits define a long history of repeating climate change events. To the south across the Delmarva Peninsula and southern Maryland, most antecedent topography has been obscured by Late Pleistocene surficial deposits. These are spatially variable and are collectively described as a cold-climate alloformation. The cold-climate alloformation includes time-transgressive details of climate deterioration from at least marine isotope stage (MIS) 4 through the end of MIS 2. Some deposits and landforms within the alloformation may be as young as the Younger Dryas. Southwards along the trend of the Potomac River, these deposits and their climatic affinities become diffused. In Virginia, a continuum of erosion and surficial deposits appears to be the product of ‘normal’ temperate, climate-forced processes. The cold-climate alloformation and more temperate deposits in Virginia are being partly covered by Holocene alluvium and bay mud.

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