Subdivisions of the Quaternary System
System/
Period
Series/
Epoch
Stage/
Age
Age (Ma)
Quaternary Holocene Meghalayan 0 0.0042
Northgrippian 0.0042 0.0082
Greenlandian 0.0082 0.0117
Pleistocene 'Tarantian' 0.0117 0.126
'Chibanian' 0.126 0.781
Calabrian 0.781 1.80
Gelasian 1.80 2.58
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 2.58 3.60
Notes and references[1][2][3]
Subdivision of the Quaternary period according to the ICS, as of 2018.[1]

For the Holocene, dates are relative to the year 2000 (e.g. Greenlandian began 11,700 years before 2000). For the beginning of the Northgrippian a date of 8,236 years before 2000 has been set.[2] The Meghalayan has been set to begin 4,250 years before 2000, apparently from a calibrated radio-carbon date of 4,200 years BP i.e. before 1950.[3][clarification needed]

'Chibanian' and 'Tarantian' are informal, unofficial names proposed to replace the also informal, unofficial 'Middle Pleistocene' and 'Upper Pleistocene' subseries/subepochs respectively.

In Europe and North America, the Holocene is subdivided into Preboreal, Boreal, Atlantic, Subboreal, and Subatlantic stages of the Blytt–Sernander time scale. There are many regional subdivisions for the Upper or Late Pleistocene; usually these represent locally recognized cold (glacial) and warm (interglacial) periods. The last glacial period ends with the cold Younger Dryas substage.

The Gelasian is an age in the international geologic timescale or a stage in chronostratigraphy, being the earliest or lowest subdivision of the Quaternary period/system and Pleistocene epoch/series. It spans the time between 2.588 ± 0.005 Ma (million years ago) and 1.806 ± 0.005 Ma.[4] It follows the Piacenzian stage (part of the Pliocene) and is followed by the Calabrian stage.

DefinitionEdit

The Gelasian was introduced in the geologic timescale in 1998.[5] It is named after the Sicilian city of Gela in the south of the island. In 2009 it was moved from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene so that the geologic time scale would be more consistent with the key changes in Earth's climate, oceans, and biota that occurred 2.588 million years ago.[6]

The base of the Gelasian is defined magnetostratigraphically as the base of the Matuyama (C2r) chronozone (at the Gauss-Matuyama magnetostratigraphic boundary), isotopic stage 103. Above this line notable extinctions of the calcareous nanofossils occur: Discoaster pentaradiatus and Discoaster surculus.[4][7] The GSSP for the Gelasian is located at the Monte Sant Nicola near Gela.

The top of the Gelasian is defined magnetostratigraphically as the end of the Olduvai (C2n) chronozone, and faunally as the extinction level of the calcareous nanofossil Discoaster brouweri (base of biozone CN13). Above the Gelasian as the first occurrences of the calcareous nanofossil Gephyrocapsa sp. and the extinction level of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides extremus.[4][8]

ClimateEdit

During the Gelasian the ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began to grow, which is seen as the beginning of the Quaternary ice age. Deep sea core samples have identified approximately 40 marine isotope stages (MIS 103 – MIS 64) during the age. Thus, there have probably been about 20 glacial cycles of varying intensity during the Gelasian.

EuropeEdit

In the regional glacial history of the Alps this age is now called Biber. It corresponds to Pre-Tegelen and Tegelen in Northern Europe.[9]

During the Gelasian, the Red Crag Formation of Butley, the Newbourn Crag, the Norwich Crag Formation and the Weybourne Crag Formation (all from East Anglia, England) were deposited. The Gelasian is an equivalent of the Praetiglian and Tiglian stages as defined in the Netherlands, which are commonly used in northwestern Europe.

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Cohen, K.M.; Finney, S.C.; Gibbard, P.L.; Fan, J.-X. "International Chronostratigraphic Chart". International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "IUGS ratifies Holocene". Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "ICS chart containing the Quaternary and Cambrian GSSPs and new stages (v 2018/07) is now released!". Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Gelasian at the GeoWhen database
  5. ^ The Gelasian was first proposed by Rio et al. (1998)
  6. ^ Gibbard, Philip L.; Head, Martin J.; Walker, Michael J. C. (2009), "Formal ratification of the Quaternary System/Period and the Pleistocene Series/Epoch with a base at 2.58 Ma", Journal of Quaternary Science, 25 (2): 96, doi:10.1002/jqs.1338
  7. ^ Gradstein et al. (2005), p. 28; Rio et al. (1998)
  8. ^ Gradstein et al. (2005); Rio et al. (1998)
  9. ^ German Stratigraphic Commission: Stratigraphische Tabelle von Deutschland 2016

LiteratureEdit