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18 Jan

Of the many rhythmites in the geological record, varves are one of the most important and illuminating in studies of past climate change.This forms a pair of layers—one coarse and one fine—for each annual cycle.Varves form only in fresh or brackish water, because the high levels of salt in normal sea water coagulate the clay into coarse grains.A well-known marine example of varve sediments are those found in the Santa Barbara basin, off California.In the sciences, it is important to distinguish between precision and accuracy.

This prompted him to suggest the coarse-fine couplets frequently found in the sediments of glacial lakes were annual layers.