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The glacial history of southern Minnesota, based on the surficial deposits of the late glacial Des Moines lobe and older deposits correlated to Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 16, is documented in exposures along tributaries to the Minnesota River. A recently formalized stratigraphy defines and correlates these tills on the basis of their texture, lithologic composition, and stratigraphic position. Soils developed in this glacial landscape are among the most productive in the world. Their subtle variations reflect shifting ecotones throughout the Holocene.

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