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Loess and eolian sand cover vast areas of the western Great Plains of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado (Fig. 1). In recent studies of Quaternary climate change, there has been a renewed interest in loess and eolian sand. Much of the attention now given to loess stems from new studies of long loess sequences that contain detailed records of Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles, thought to be a terrestrial equivalent to the foraminiferal oxygen isotope record in deep-sea sediments (Fig. 2). Loess is also a direct record of atmospheric circulation, and identification of loess paleowinds in the geologic record can test atmospheric general circulation models. Until recently, eolian sand on the Great Plains had received little attention from Quaternary geologists. The past decade has seen a proliferation of studies of Great Plains dune sands, and many studies, summarized below, indicate that landscapes characterized by eolian sand have had dynamic histories.

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