A review of literature on the Australian Quaternary suggests that Pleistocene glaciations in the northern hemisphere correlate with pluvial periods in at least the southern higher rainfall areas in Australia. Soil and parent material studies, mainly from southern and southeastern Australia, with age relationships established by stratigraphy, correlation with former sea levels, or by radiocarbon dating show that most differentiated soil profiles are formed on parent materials laid down as colluvial, alluvial or aeolian deposits during the Last (Russ-Würm) Interglacial, or during an interstadial soon after it. These soils are in general noncalcareous in the present day wetter coastal environments, and have calcareous horizons in the more arid inland areas.
An important exception to this generalization is the soils of the pre-Quaternary landscapes, associated with ancient shields and platforms. The parent materials of these soils are deeply weathered profiles leached of silica and bases, or deposits derived from them, often considerably modified during the Quaternary.
The significance of soil and landscape features in relation to Quaternary environments is briefly discussed.
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