Hansel, Ardith K. Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, Illinois.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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- Study and subdivision
- Early Holocene
- Middle Holocene
- Late Holocene
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
That portion of geologic time that postdates the latest episode of continental glaciation. The Holocene Epoch is synonymous with the Recent or Postglacial interval of Earth's geologic history and extends from 10,000 years ago to the present day (Fig. 1). It was preceded by the Pleistocene Epoch and is part of the Quaternary Period, a time characterized by dramatic climatic oscillations from warm (interglacial) to cold (glacial) conditions that began about 1.6 million years ago. The term Holocene is also applied to the sediments, processes, events, and environments of the epoch.
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