What is the Driftless Area/Region?

The Driftless Area, also known as the Paleozoic Plateau, is a region in the Upper Midwest that escaped the crushing and scouring effects of glaciation during the last glacial period.  Its size is variously calculated between 16,000 and 29,000 square miles. These differences seem to be the result of the strictness with which one defines the boundaries, as parts of the Driftless Area were overrun by one or more of the four major glaciations of the Pleistocene epoch, whereas a large portion of southwest Wisconsin and the northwestern tip of Illinois completely escaped glaciation. The term refers to the absence or lack of glacial deposits (“drift”).

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