varve

varve, in geology, pair of thin sedimentary layers formed annually by seasonal climatic changes. Usually found in glacial lake deposits, varves consist of a coarse-grained, light-colored summer deposit and a finer-grained, dark-colored winter deposit formed when fine sediment settles out from the water under the ice cover. Varves, and the pollen they contain, are useful for interpreting recent climatic history.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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