Geologic Time Scale 2020

Geologic Time Scale 2020

1st Edition - October 30, 2020

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  • Editors: F.M. Gradstein, James G. Ogg, Mark Schmitz, Gabi Ogg
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128243619
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128243602

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Geologic Time Scale 2020 (2 volume set) contains contributions from 80+ leading scientists who present syntheses in an easy-to-understand format that includes numerous color charts, maps and photographs. In addition to detailed overviews of chronostratigraphy, evolution, geochemistry, sequence stratigraphy and planetary geology, the GTS2020 volumes have separate chapters on each geologic period with compilations of the history of divisions, the current GSSPs (global boundary stratotypes), detailed bio-geochem-sequence correlation charts, and derivation of the age models. The authors are on the forefront of chronostratigraphic research and initiatives surrounding the creation of an international geologic time scale. The included charts display the most up-to-date, international standard as ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences. As the framework for deciphering the history of our planet Earth, this book is essential for practicing Earth Scientists and academics.

Key Features

  • Completely updated geologic time scale
  • Provides the most detailed integrated geologic time scale available that compiles and synthesize information in one reference
  • Gives insights on the construction, strengths and limitations of the geological time scale that greatly enhances its function and its utility


Academic and professional geoscientists. Both text and illustrations are directly useful to teachers, to students, and to practicing geoscientists

Table of Contents

  • Volume 1

    1. Introduction
    2. The chronostratigraphic scale

    3. Evolution and biostratigraphy (12 sub-chapters on major groups)
    4. Astrochronology
    5. The geomagnetic polarity time scale
    6. Radioisotope geochronology
    7. Strontium isotope stratigraphy
    8. Osmium isotope stratigraphy
    9. Sulfur isotope stratigraphy
    10. Oxygen isotope stratigraphy
    11. Carbon isotope stratigraphy
    12. Influence of Large Igneous Provinces
    13. Phanerozoic eustacy
    14. Geomathematical and statistical procedures

    PART III GEOLOGIC PERIODS of Planetary and Precambrian
    15. The Planetary time scale
    16. Precambrian (4.56 Ga to 1 Ga)
    17. The Tonian and Cryogenian Period
    18. The Ediacaran Period

    Volume 2

    19. The Cambrian Period
    20. The Ordovician Period
    21. The Silurian Period
    22. The Devonian Period
    23. The Carboniferous Period
    24. The Permian Period
    25. The Triassic Period
    26. The Jurassic Period
    27. The Cretaceous Period
    28. The Paleogene Period
    29. The Neogene Period
    30. The Quaternary Period
    31. The Anthropocene

    Appendix 1. Color code according to the Commission for the Geological Map of the World
    Appendix 2. Radioisotopic dates used in GTS2020

Product details

  • No. of pages: 1390
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2020
  • Published: October 30, 2020
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128243619
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128243602

About the Editors

F.M. Gradstein

F.M. Gradstein
FELIX GRADSTEIN is Professor Emeritus at Oslo University, Norway and visiting Research Fellow, University of Portsmouth, UK. From 2000 to 2008, he was chair of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. Under his leadership major progress was made with the formal definition of chronostratigraphic units from Precambrian through Quaternary. For his fundamental work concerning the Geologic Time Scale, geochronology in general, quantitative stratigraphy and micropaleontology, the European Geosciences Union awarded him in 2010 the Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal. He is Chair of the Geologic Time Scale Foundation and teaches courses in quantitative stratigraphy and the geologic time scale. Now that he has free time again, after completing this book with his outstanding co-editors and co-authors, he studies the early evolution of planktonic foraminifera.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Oslo, Norway; Chronostratigraphy, paleontology

James G. Ogg

James G. Ogg
JAMES OGG (Professor at Purdue University, Indiana, USA; now retired/adjunct) is also currently a visiting distinguished professor at Chengdu University of Technology and at China University of Geoscience (Wuhan). He served as Secretary General of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (2000-2008), and currently is executive director of the Geologic TimeScale Foundation and coordinator of TimeScale Creator service ( His Mesozoic Stratigraphy Lab group has worked on aspects of climate cycles, magnetic polarity correlations and integration of stratigraphic information. Their TimeScale Creator array of visualization tools and extensive databases in global and regional Earth history was used to generate many of the diagrams in this book.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chengdu University of Technology, Sichuan, China; Integrated Earth history, paleomagnetism

Mark Schmitz

Mark Schmitz
MARK SCHMITZ is Professor of Geochemistry at Boise State University, Idaho, USA, and has extensive research interests in the development and application of radiogenic isotope geochemistry and high-precision U-Pb geochronology to problems of Earth systems evolution. He has been an active member of the Earth Time community and was co-editor and author for the Geologic Time Scale 2012. He seeks to enrich the radioisotopic calibration of the time scale through targeted dating of stratigraphically important volcanic event beds and the construction of robust chronostratigraphic models through geologic time. His extensive database with over 300 standardized radiogenic isotope ages (mainly U/Pb and Ar/Ar) is vital to this book.

Affiliations and Expertise

Boise State University, Idaho, USA; Geochronology

Gabi Ogg

Gabi Ogg
GABI OGG applied micropaleontology to Jurassic-Cretaceous correlations before concentrating on public outreach in geosciences. She coordinated the extensive array of graphics in this book, and is the webmaster for the Geologic TimeScale Foundation ( and for the TimeScale Creator visualization and database suites ( In addition to co-authoring the Concise Geologic TimeScale (GTS2016) and The Geologic Time Scale (GTS2012) books, she has produced numerous posters and time scale cards for public audiences.

Affiliations and Expertise

Geologic TimeScale Foundation, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Paleontology, geo-graphics

Ratings and Reviews

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  • Jack R. Mon Mar 07 2022

    Excellent resource

    Excellent and essential resource on chronostratigraphy, very detailed. The bundle edition is very handy.

  • Andrea P. Fri Oct 29 2021

    A masterpiece

    An exceptional job, very interesting and well written. Very rich in information and beautifully illustrated it is highly recommended to anyone interested in the history of the Earth.