The Geologic Time Scale 2012 2-Volume Set book cover

The Geologic Time Scale 2012 2-Volume Set

The Geologic Time Scale 2012, winner of a 2012 PROSE Award Honorable Mention for Best Multi-volume Reference in Science from the Association of American Publishers, is the framework for deciphering the history of our planet Earth. The authors have been at the forefront of chronostratigraphic research and initiatives to create an international geologic time scale for many years, and the charts in this book present the most up-to-date, international standard, as ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences. This 2012 geologic time scale is an enhanced, improved and expanded version of the GTS2004, including chapters on planetary scales, the Cryogenian-Ediacaran periods/systems, a prehistory scale of human development, a survey of sequence stratigraphy, and an extensive compilation of stable-isotope chemostratigraphy.

This book is an essential reference for all geoscientists, including researchers, students, and petroleum and mining professionals. The presentation is non-technical and illustrated with numerous colour charts, maps and photographs. The book also includes a detachable wall chart of the complete time scale for use as a handy reference in the office, laboratory or field.


Primary audience: professionals in industry (oil/gas/petrochemical industry), academic libraries, faculty chairs, graduate students/researchers. All geoscientists, more specifically biochronologists, evolutionary biologists, geo-engineers, space geo engineers, astronomers.

Secondary audience: geoscience students, university teachers; all stratigraphic and paleontologic, quaternary geoscientists; individuals.

Paperback, 1176 Pages

Published: July 2012

Imprint: Elsevier

ISBN: 978-0-444-59425-9


  • "…one of the main distinctions of the new version is the more detailed subdivision of the preceding Precambrian interval. As before, the earlier chapters of the book summarize the approaches used; they review the main methods of obtaining chronometric dates and calibrating them with geomagnetic polarity and orbital fluctuations, as well as the use of various stable isotopes in chronological and paleoenvironmental analysis…Required for specialist libraries and a valuable acquisition for other libraries lacking the 2004 edition."--CHOICE April 2013


  • Volume 1
    List of contributors
    Table of contents
    List of abbreviations and acronyms

    1. Introduction, F. M. Gradstein
    2. Chronostratigraphy: linking time and rock, F. M. Gradstein and j. G. Ogg

    3. Biochronology, F.M.Gradstein
    4. Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology, L. A.hinnov and f.j.hilgen
    5. The geomagnetic polarity time scale, J. G. Ogg
    6. Radiogenic isotopes geochronology, M.Schmitz And M. Villeneuve
    7. Strontium isotope stratigraphy, J. M. Mcarthur, R. J. Howarth and G.Shields
    8. Osmium isotope stratigraphy, B. Peucker-Ehrenbrink and G. Ravizza
    9. Sulfur isotope stratigraphy, A. Paytan
    10. Oxygen isotope stratigraphy, E. Grossman
    11. Carbon isotope stratigraphy, M. Saltzman and E. Thomas
    12. A Brief History of Plants on Earth S.R. Gradstein and H. Kerp
    13. Sequence chronostratigraphy, M. Simmons
    14. Statistical procedures, F. P. Agterberg, O. Hammer and F.M. Gradstein

    15. The Planetary time scale, K.TANAKA AND B.HARTMANN
    16. The Precambrian: the Archean and Proterozoic Eons, M.van Kranendonk and co-authors
    17. The Cryogenian Period, G. A. Shields, A.C. Hill and B. A. MacGabhann
    18. The Ediacaran Period, G. Narbonne, S. Xiao and G.A. Shields

    Volume 2
    19. The Cambrian Period, S. Peng, L. Babcock and R. A. Cooper
    20. The Ordovician Period, R. A. Cooper and P. M. Sadler
    21. The Silurian Period, M. J. Melchin, R. A. Cooper and P. M. Sadler
    22. The Devonian Period, T. Becker, F. M. Gradstein and O. Hammer
    23. The Carboniferous Period, V. Davydov, D. Korn and M. Schmitz
    24. The Permian Period, CH. Henderson, V. Davydov and B. Wardlaw
    25. The Triassic Period, J. G. Ogg
    26. The Jurassic Period, J. G. Ogg
    27. The Cretaceous Period, J. G. Ogg and L. Hinnov
    28. The Paleogene Period, N. Vandenberghe, R. Speijer and F.J. Hilgen
    29. The Neogene Period, F.J. Hilgen, L. Lourens, and J. van Dam
    30. The Quaternary Period, B. Pillans and P. Gibbard
    31. The Prehistoric Human Time Scale, J.A. Catt and M.A. Maslin
    32. The Anthropocene, J.Z Alasiewicz, P. Crutzen and W. Steffen

    Appendix 1- Recommended color coding of stages
    Appendix 2 - Radiometric ages used in GTS2012, M.D. Schmitz
    Appendix 3 - Biochronology of Paleogene and Neogene Microfossils, E. Anthonissen, J.G. Ogg.
    Stratigraphic Index
    General Index


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