The Quaternary Period encompasses the past 2.6 million years, the evolution of our species, and the emergence of the world as we know it today. Consequently, geologists have long been interested in this most recent period of time and its history of ice ages, species extinctions, volcanic eruptions, and other events. The Quaternary is not an ancient period locked away in Earth's rock record, but was the period that put the final touches on our modern landscapes. “Quaternary” implies fresh landslides, still hot volcanoes, and fossils not yet turned to minerals. Consequently, Quaternary geology reveals processes that could take place...

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