Late Quaternary Environments of the United States was first published in 1983. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In the late 1970s American and Russian scientists met twice in conferences on Quaternary paleoclimates sponsored by the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Bilateral Agreement on the Environment. The conferees agreed to prepare volumes summarizing the current status of research in the two countries. Late-Quaternary Environments of the United States provides a two-volume overview of new and significant information on research of the last fifteen years, since the 1965 publication of Quaternary of the United States,edited by H E. Wright, Jr., and D. G. Frey. The volume on the late Quaternary in the Soviet Union will also be published by the University of Minnesota Press.
Volume 1 of Late-Quaternary Environments of the United States covers the Late Pleistocene, the interval between 25,000 and 10,000 years ago—a time of extreme environmental stress as the world passed from full-glacial conditions of the last ice age into the present interglacial age. The interval of geologic time since the last glacial period—termed the Holocene—is the subject of Volume 2. The complexity of the natural changes occurring in the late Quaternary, and their interrelationships, make it impossible for a single scientific discipline to encompass them. Thus the papers in both volumes come from authors in many research fields—geology, ecology, physical geography, archaeology, geochemistry, geophysics, limnology, soil science, paleontology, and climatology. Many of the hypotheses presented—especially on the dynamic Late Pleistocene environments—are still hotly debated and will require additional testing as scientists strive to reconstruct the changing world of the glacial and postglacial ages.