Smith, Norman D. Formerly, Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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Any of a variety of distinct sediment laminations or beds deposited within the span of a single year. They are formed commonly in saline or freshwater lakes, but examples from marine environments are known as well. Usually, varves occur in repetitive series and thus comprise vertical sequences of annual cyclic deposits. Varves range in thickness from less than a millimeter (0.04 in.) to over a meter (3 ft), but typically are a few millimeters or centimeters thick.
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