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Quaternary geology of the Boston area: Glacial events from Lake Charles to Lake Aberjona

December 31, 2014

The multiple-glacial and glaciomarine Quaternary history of the Boston, Massachusetts area has been known generally since the earliest studies of the then newly recognized glacial deposits described by Prof. Louis Agassiz in the late1840’s and fossil marine shells in the drift in the 1850’s. Attention then turned to possible glacial erosional effects on the preglacial bedrock physiography, as related to rock units and structure, and to the challenges of defining useful physical and lithic characteristics of the drift by Prof. W.O. Crosby and others, 1880-1900. The problems of deducing the relative stratigraphic order among such small, fossil-barren surficial sedimentary deposits, and extending knowledge gained from studies of postulated ancient glacial lakes to a regional understanding of the history of many lakes during the retreat of the ice sheet required field work and use of geologic maps. With the advent of modern topographic maps in the 1880’s, the early period of discovery included field studies of glacial lake deposits in local river basins in the Boston region, basins that drain northward, thereby creating glacial lake basins dammed by the ice margin as it retreated to the north. Guided by M.I.T. and Harvard professors W.O. Crosby, N.S. Shaler, J.B. Woodworth, W.M. Davis, and others in the 1880-1920 period, the first Quaternary glacial stratigraphers were students (e.g. Crosby and Grabau, 1896, Clapp, 1905, Fuller 1905, Goldthwaite 1906, Grabau, 1906, Taylor, Tight).

Publication Year 2014
Title Quaternary geology of the Boston area: Glacial events from Lake Charles to Lake Aberjona
Authors Byron D. Stone, John W. Lane
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70192818
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center