Pre-Wisconsin glacial stratigraphy of the central plains region in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri
SummaryRecent investigations have documented the presence of several tills and interglacial paleosols that were not recognized in the simple Kansan—Aftonian—Nebraskan stratigraphic sequence. Also, the single 'Pearlette ash' recognized by early workers now is known to be three different Pearlette family ash beds of greatly contrasting ages. The complexity of the stratigraphy, as it is currently understood, and the miscorrelations of early work necessitate abandonment of the archaic terms Kansan, Aftonian, and Nebraskan in stratigraphic terminology. Continued use of those terms will only promote confusion of stratigraphic nomenclature and erroneous correlations of stratigraphic units. The limited chronometric control available within the early and middle Pleistocene stratigraphic sequence is provided directly by dating or by correlation of buried soils and volcanic ash beds and it is provided inferentially by interpretation of magnetic polarity data. These controls provide, at best, a general time framework to begin a new synthesis of the Quaternary history of the region. New methods of dating are needed to facilitate long-distance correlation of early and middle Pleistocene deposits.