Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Midwestern U.S. 16,000 Years Ago


The Midwestern U.S. 16,000 Years Ago is an online exhibit by the Illinois State Museum depicting the environments, plants, and animals of the late Pleistocene.

From the site:

The landscape of the Midwest was very different 16,000 years ago. Although glaciers were retreating, much of the midwestern U.S. was still under ice. Some areas had been only recently deglaciated. These areas may have been covered with bare sheets of till that were slowly being revegetated. Large, proglacial lakes formed where morraines dammed the water coming off the melting glaciers. Dust storms were depositing thick layers of loess (windblown dust) over many areas. Lakes, marshes, and mires were common.

Sixteen thousand years ago the climate was quite different in the area. Temperatures in the summer were significantly cooler than today. Winter temperatures were colder than those experienced today but not dramatically so.

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