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Geologic Time Scale 2020 - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128243602, 9780128243619

Geologic Time Scale 2020

1st Edition

Editors: F.M. Gradstein James G. Ogg Mark Schmitz Gabi Ogg
eBook ISBN: 9780128243619
Paperback ISBN: 9780128243602
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 30th October 2020
Page Count: 1390
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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


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2020
30th October 2020
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

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


PROSE Award 2017, Earth Science: First Place
PROSE Award 2012, Reference Work: Honorable Mention for Multivolume Reference/Science, American Association of Publishers

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