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This bluff shows a deep deposit of windblown topsoil known as Loess (pronounced Low-ess). It was formed during the Ice age when glaciers covered the northern half of the United States. At this time nearly continuous dust storms swept in from the western plains and covered this area with wind blown dust to a depth of 30 to 90 feet. Here it rests on sands and clays of an ancient sea. It originally covered a vast region but in this area is now confined to a strip east of the Mississippi River from three to 30 miles wide extending from Baton Rouge into Tennessee. Where the Old Natchez Trace passed over Loess it formed sunken roads, in places 20 feet deep.


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