Many distal tephra beds exist in the thick, fossiliferous loess deposits near Fairbanks, interior Alaska. Isothermal plateau fission-track ages, determined on glass shards from tephra beds, in conjunction with tephrostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic techniques, indicate that loess deposition began in the late Pliocene—an antiquity previously unsuspected. Hence, there is the opportunity now to reconstruct a detailed, well-dated record of environmental changes in interior Alaska during the past 3 m.y.

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