Holocene epoch


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Related to Holocene epoch: Miocene epoch, Recent epoch, Pleistocene epoch

See also: Geologic Timescale (table)Geologic Timescale
Era Period Epoch Approximate duration
(millions of years)
Approximate number of years ago
(millions of years)

Cenozoic Quaternary Holocene 10,000 years ago to the present  
Pleistocene 2 .
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Holocene epoch

(hŏl`əsēn) or

Recent epoch,

most recent of all subdivisions of geologic time, ranging from the present back to the time (c.11,000 years ago) of almost complete withdrawal of the glaciers of the preceding Pleistocene epochPleistocene epoch
, 6th epoch of the Cenozoic era of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale, table). According to a classification that considered its deposits to have been formed by the biblical great flood, the epoch was originally called the Quaternary.
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. During the Holocene epoch, the sculpturing of the earth's surface to its present form was completed. Withdrawal of the glacial ice resulted in the development of the present-day drainage basins of the Missouri and Ohio rivers, the development of the Great Lakes, and a global rise in sea level of up to 100 ft (30 m) as the glacial meltwater was returned to the seas. Warming climates resulted in the poleward migration of plants and animals.

The most significant development during the Holocene was the rise of modern humans, who are thought to have first appeared in the late Pleistocene. All of the races of modern humans were fully developed, with eventual worldwide distribution. Human culture developed during this epoch from a primitive one to the complex industrial society of today, in which humans themselves have become a significant factor in altering the earth's surface environment. As a result of extensive human influence on the environment, some have argued that "Anthropocene epoch" should be used instead of Holocene epoch for recent time, but the term has not been accepted by geologists. There is disagreement even among advocates of the use of the term concerning when the Anthropocene should be considered to have begun, with some suggesting that the entire Holocene Epoch be renamed, and others suggesting that the Anthropocene began c.A.D. 900 or with the Industrial RevolutionIndustrial Revolution,
term usually applied to the social and economic changes that mark the transition from a stable agricultural and commercial society to a modern industrial society relying on complex machinery rather than tools.
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.

See Geologic TimescaleGeologic Timescale
Era Period Epoch Approximate duration
(millions of years)
Approximate number of years ago
(millions of years)

Cenozoic Quaternary Holocene 10,000 years ago to the present  
Pleistocene 2 .
..... Click the link for more information.
 (table).

Holocene Epoch

 

the Postglacial epoch, the contemporary geological epoch containing the existing, still unended section of the Antropogenic (Quaternary) period of earth’s geologic history. The beginning of the Holocene epoch coincided with the last continental glaciation in northern Europe, and it is considered to date from the glacier’s retreat from the Salpausselkä recessional moraines in southern Finland, which began about 10,000 years ago. The Holocene epoch is divided into sections corresponding to the successive stages of changes in climate, which are established primarily by studying remains of vegetation in contemporary peat bogs. During the Holocene epoch dry land and oceans took on their present outlines, geographic zones were established, and the floodplain terraces of rivers were formed. Almost two-thirds of the Holocene epoch has occurred in historic times.

E. V. SHANTSER

References in periodicals archive ?
Several scientific studies indicate that the prairie climate was distinctly warmer and drier during the middle portion of the Holocene Epoch.
Feedbacks between climate and boreal forests during the Holocene epoch.
6 million years ago to almost 12,000 years ago when the current Holocene Epoch began.
Using this method the researchers were able to construct a temperature chart stretching back 11,300 years - back to the beginning of the Holocene epoch.
Because humans are having widespread effects on the planet that can be measured in the geologic record, the International Commission on Stratigraphy is investigating whether the current Holocene epoch should end and an Anthropocene epoch begin.
Have they been sufficient to significantly alter the nature of the sediments now being accumulated at present, and are they distinctive from the existing Holocene Epoch that started at the end of the last ice age?