The name of the most recent geological period, which began 2.6 million years ago. At our latitude, this long period has been marked by numerous large-scale variations between cold (glacials) and temperate climates. During the coldest periods there was significant erosion of rocks, producing sediments which accumulated elsewhere, having been transported by flowing water (alluvium) or wind (loess), or deposited, thanks to gravity, at the bottom of slopes (colluvium).