While in the central United States and in Europe the existence of several distinct stages of Pleistocene glaciation separated by interglacial stages has long been recognized, there has been until recently a prevailing belief among geologists that New England was unlike the other northern states, and that it was subjected to but one ice advance and retreat, which has commonly been correlated with the Wisconsin glaciation of the Mississippi valley.

The first suggestion of the possible complexity of the Glacial period came in 1889,* when Shaler published the probability that southern New England at least has been subjected to two ice-advances, separated by a retreat of considerable duration. His conclusions were based on the relations of glacial and interglacial beds at Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket. In 1896 Woodworth published a description of the clays of southeastern Massachusetts, in which he recognized three glacial stages in southern New England . . .

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