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Dryas
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A series of cold climatic phases in northwestern Europe, during a time when the North Atlantic was in almost full glacial condition. Dryas I was c 16,000/14,000 BP, Dryas II (Older Dryas) was c 12,300-11,800 bp, and Dryas III (Younger Dryas) was c 11,000-10,000 bp. It is named after a tundra plant. . The increasing temperature after the late Dryas period during the Pre-Boreal and the Boreal (c 8000-5500 BC, according to radiocarbon dating) caused a remarkable change in late glacial flora and fauna.
Older Dryas
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A stadial of the Weichselian cold stage, dating to between c 12,000-11,800 bp.
Younger Dryas
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Younger Dryas event
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A stadial of the Weichselian cold stage, dated to between 11,000-10,000 bp. The last glacial recession (13,000-6,000 years ago) was interrupted by this sharp advance. It takes its name from a tundra plant called Dryas octopetala, fossil remains of which are common in deposits of the stadial. It was most evident around the North Atlantic and coincided with an apparent temporary diversion of glacial meltwater from the Mississippi River to the St. Lawrence drainage system. It has been postulated that this discharge of cold, fresh water disrupted the Atlantic Ocean circulation system that warms the North Atlantic.

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