Quaternary Glaciation

Recognition of continental scale glaciation occurred about a century and a half ago and replaced the diluvial hypothesis. Initially, four major glacial episodes, with interglacials, were proposed but modern interpretation and oxygen-isotope curves from deep sea sediments suggest many more alternating cold and warm episodes extending back well over two million years. On land, the younger glacial episodes obliterated most of the evidence left by the older ones.

The effects of glaciation, in addition to well-known eye-catching features like erratic boulders and scratched bedrock surfaces, resulted in situations of engineering significance which include: