Geologic Time Scale 2020 - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780444637987

Geologic Time Scale 2020

2nd Edition

Volume 1

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Editors: F.M. Gradstein J.G. Ogg Mark Schmitz Gabi Ogg
Book ISBN: 9780444637987
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 1st August 2020
Page Count: 1300
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Geologic Time Scale 2020, Second Edition contains contributions from leading scientists who present information in an easy-to-understand format that includes numerous color charts, maps and photographs. The book covers projects such as GTSNext, Earth Time Europe and Chronos, explaining how and why the time scale is being updated and offering expanded coverage of paleontology and stratigraphy. The authors are on the forefront of chronostratigraphic research and initiatives surrounding the creation of an international geologic time scale, and the included charts present 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 time scale, including research from projects such as GTSNext, Earth Time Europe, and Chronos
  • Includes all-new atlas of index taxa at the end of each section to expand coverage of paleontology and stratigraphy
  • Provides the most detailed international geologic time scale available that contextualizes 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


Both academic and professional geoscientists. Both text and illustrations are directly useful to teachers, and also to practicing geoscientists

Table of Contents

Volume 1
1. Introduction
2. Chronostratigraphy: linking time and rock

3. Biochronology
4. Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology
5. The geomagnetic polarity time scale
6. Radiogenic isotopes geochronology
7. Strontium isotope stratigraphy
8. Osmium isotope stratigraphy
9. Sulfur isotope stratigraphy
10. Oxygen isotope stratigraphy
11. Carbon isotope stratigraphy
12. Osmium-Renium Radiogeochronology
13. A Brief History of Plants on Earth
14. Sequence chronostratigraphy
15. Statistical procedures

16. The Planetary time scale
17. The Precambrian: the Archean and Proterozoic Eons
18. The Cryogenian Period
19. The Ediacaran Period

Volume 2
20. The Cambrian Period
21. The Ordovician Period
22. The Silurian Period
23. The Devonian Period
24. The Carboniferous Period
25. The Permian Period
26. The Triassic Period
27. The Jurassic Period
28. The Cretaceous Period
29. The Paleogene Period
30. The Neogene Period
31. The Quaternary Period
32. The Prehistoric Human Time Scale
33. The Anthropocene

1. Recommended color coding of stages
2. Radiometric ages used in GTS2012
3. Biochronology of Paleogene and Neogene Microfossils


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2020
1st August 2020
Book ISBN:

About the Editor

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

J.G. Ogg

J.G. Ogg

JAMES OGG (Professor at Purdue University, Indiana, USA) was Secretary General of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (2000-2008), and is currently serving as coordinator of that ICS stratigraphy information service. His Mesozoic Stratigraphy Lab group works on aspects of climate cycles, magnetic polarity correlations and integration of stratigraphic information. Their TimeScale Creator array of visualization tools for extensive databases in global and regional Earth history was used to generate many of the diagrams in this book.

Affiliations and Expertise

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

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

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

West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

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