The Geologic Time Scale 2012

1st Edition

Print ISBN: 9780444594259
eBook ISBN: 9780444594488
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 31st July 2012
Page Count: 1176
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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.

Table of Contents





Editors’ Biographies


Abbreviations and acronyms


Time Scale Publications (see References for Details)

Geoscientific Concepts


Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 A Geologic Time Scale

1.2 A Geologic Time Scale GTS2012

1.3 How this Book is Arranged

1.4 Conventions and Standards

1.5 Historical Overview of Geologic Time Scales

1.6 Stratigraphic Charts and Tables


Chapter 2. The Chronostratigraphic Scale

2.1 History of Geologic Stratigraphic Standardization

2.2 Stage Unit Stratotypes

2.3 Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP)

2.3 Global Standard Stratigraphic Age (GSSA)

2.4 Other Considerations for Choosing a GSSP

2.5 Subdividing Long Stages

2.6 Do GSSP Boundary Stratotypes Simplify Stratigraphic Classification?


Chapter 3. Biochronology

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Paleontologic Events

3.3 Quantitative Stratigraphy and Biochronology

3.4 Qualitative Biostratigraphy and Biochronology



Chapter 4. Cyclostratigraphy and Astrochronology

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Earth’s Astronomical Parameters

4.3 The 405-kyr Metronome

4.4 Astronomically Forced Insolation

4.5 Cyclostratigraphy through Geologic Time

4.6 Constructing Astrochronologies and the ATS

4.7 Precision and Accuracy of the ATS

4.8 Astrochronology-Geochronology Intercalibration

4.9 A New Astronomical Solution


Chapter 5. Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale

5.1 Principles

5.2 Late Cretaceous through Cenozoic Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale

5.3 Middle Jurassic through Early Cretaceous Geomagnetic Polarity Time


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


"…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