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Simplifying the stratigraphy of time

Zalasiewicz, J., Smith, A., Brenchley, P., Evans, J., Knox, R., Riley, N., Gale, A., Gregory, F.J., Rushton, A., Gibbard, P., Hesselbo, S., Marshall, J., Oates, M., Rawson, P. and Trewin, N. (2004) Simplifying the stratigraphy of time Geology, 32, (1), pp. 1-4. (doi:10.1130/G19920.1).

Record type: Article


We propose ending the distinction between the dual stratigraphic terminology of time-rock units (of chronostratigraphy) and geologic time units (of geochronology). The long-held, but widely misunderstood, distinction between these two essentially parallel time scales in stratigraphy has been rendered unnecessary by the widespread adoption of the global stratotype sections and points (GSSP-golden spike) principle in defining intervals of geologic time within rock strata. We consider that the most appropriate name for this stratigraphic discipline is "chronostratigraphy," which would allow "geochronology" to revert to its mainstream and original meaning of numerical age dating. This in turn makes the little- used formal term "geochronometry" redundant. The terms "eonothem," "erathem," "system," "series," and "stage" would become redundant, in favor of "eon," "era," "period," "epoch" and (disputably) "age." Our favored geologic time units may be qualified by "early" and "late," but not by "lower" and "upper." These suggested changes should simplify stratigraphic practice, encompass both stratified and nonstratified rocks, and help geologic understanding, while retaining precision of meaning

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Published date: 2004


Local EPrints ID: 1372
ISSN: 0091-7613
PURE UUID: fda132da-692f-4afe-8c87-0b6a6d68de41
ORCID for J. Marshall: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 05 May 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:16

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Author: J. Zalasiewicz
Author: A. Smith
Author: P. Brenchley
Author: J. Evans
Author: R. Knox
Author: N. Riley
Author: A. Gale
Author: F.J. Gregory
Author: A. Rushton
Author: P. Gibbard
Author: S. Hesselbo
Author: J. Marshall ORCID iD
Author: M. Oates
Author: P. Rawson
Author: N. Trewin

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