Digital Varves

North American Glacial Varve Web Site Goals

This site is intended to serve both an educational and research role in promoting the study of glacial varves in North America. Although in existence for close to a century, glacial varve chronologies in North America have been greatly underutilized as late glacial chronologic and paleoenvironmental tools. They have also been shrouded in misconceptions that have greatly limited their use.

The scope of the web site's coverage is glacial varve chronology in North America, which is heavily dominated by varve studies in New England. Initially the site will focus on the New England Varve Chronology and the northeastern U.S. with a few exceptions but should eventually grow to cover more of the continent as the utility of glacial varves is recognized by a greater number of researchers.

Educational Goals

The web site is intended to not only provide an introduction to the public from middle school age upward but should also serve as a introduction to more advanced academic study of glacial varves. The educational presentations on the web site will focus on several topics:

Several educational activities will be posted in which middle school or younger students, as well as college students, may discover the nuts and bolts of varve deposition and varve chronology. These activities will include materials that can be downloaded for classroom projects and demonstrations.

Research Goals

In order to make the field of glacial varve chronology accessible to a broader spectrum of scientists the web site will form a repository for techniques, data, and advanced level introductions to several topics related to the interpretation of glacial varves.

Techniques that will be presented are:

Data that will be accessible at the site will hopefully grow over time as more researchers use varves and data sets grow. Several sets of data will be available including:

Advanced level topics in glacial varve chronology will be presented that are the focus of current research and more advanced uses of varves to study glacial and paleoclimate chronology as well as glacial and climate dynamics. Among the advanced topics presented will be: