Geography 1600 - Patterns & Processes of...

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Unformatted text preview: Patterns & Processes of Vegetation & Faunal Distributions 2: Ice Age Changes The Growth & Decay of the Ice Sheets was associated with: Temperature changes. Changes in air pressure distribution which caused changes to the dominant wind directions & weather system tracks. Changes in the amount, distribution, type & timing of precipitation. Fluctuations of sea level (in the order of 100m) which exposed the continental shelves during glacial periods & drowned them during interglacial periods. Caused the erosion, processing & deposition of vast amounts of rock & soil material by ice & water (meltwater/ fluvioglacial processes effecting rivers & lakes). Caused/allowed the migration of plants, animals & humans as conditions changed. The last glaciation in North America is called the Wisconsinan Glaciation. The maximum extent of this ice sheet occurred between 20,000 & 18,000YBP when the ice front reached south to Cape Cod & down in to the Ohio Valley. At this point 97% of Canada was buried ice. Only a small area of the Yukon was ice free (because weather systems could not carry moisture there). Large (Periglacial) areas close to the ice front were bare of vegetation. These were very geomorphologically active areas with newly-deposited sediments & no soil development. Sea level was 100m lower exposing most of the continental shelves. Winds blew southwards off of the ice sheets. Sequence of Events during the Transition from Full-Glacial to Full-Interglacial Environments Full-Glacial The landscape is covered by huge ice sheets kilometres thick. The major geomorphological processes are occurring on, in & under the ice (glacial & fluvioglacial) It looks like Antarctica or Greenland. Cold, quite windy....
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Geography 1600 - Patterns & Processes of...

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