One hundred years ago last year, in 1837, Louis Agassiz, then living in Switzerland, advanced the view that there had been continental glaciation in northern Europe. A few years later, in 1846, Forbes, of England, introduced the name Pleistocene to include all glacial deposits younger than the Pliocene and older than the Recent. This usage was adopted by Lyell in 1873 and has continued to the present. Pleistocene history includes, therefore, the time involved in the records of the Great Ice Age.
From the year 1837 until the present, glacial phenomena have been studied on every continent by many geologists, and year by year as investigations have continued more and more of the complex history of the Pleistocene or Glacial Period has been unravelled. At first it was believed that all the phenomena could be explained in . . .