1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Holocene

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

HOLOCENE (from Gr. ὅλος, whole, καινός, recent), in geology, the time division which embraces the youngest of all the formations; it is equivalent to the “Recent” of some authors. The name was proposed in 1860 by P. Gervais. The oldest deposits that may be included are those containing neolithic implements; deposits of historic times should also be grouped here; presumably the youngest are those to be chronicled by the last man. The Holocene formations obviously include all the varieties of deposits which are accumulating at the present day: the gravels and alluvia of rivers; boulder clays, moraines and fluvio-glacial deposits; estuarine, coastal and abyssal deposits of the seas, and their equivalents in lakes; screes, taluses, wind-borne dust and sand and desert formations; chemical deposits from saline waters; peat, diatomite, marls, foraminiferal and other oozes; coral, algal and shell banks, and other organic deposits; mud, lava and dust deposits of volcanic origin and extrusions of asphalt and pitch; to all these must be added the works of man.