Age (Ma)
Quaternary Pleistocene Gelasian younger
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 2.58 3.600
Zanclean 3.600 5.333
Miocene Messinian 5.333 7.246
Tortonian 7.246 11.63
Serravallian 11.63 13.82
Langhian 13.82 15.97
Burdigalian 15.97 20.44
Aquitanian 20.44 23.03
Paleogene Oligocene Chattian older
Subdivision of the Neogene Period
according to the ICS, as of 2017.[1]

The Serravallian is in the geologic timescale an age or a stage in the middle Miocene epoch/series, that spans the time between 13.82 Ma and 11.63 Ma (million years ago). The Serravallian follows the Langhian and is followed by the Tortonian.[2]

It overlaps with the middle of the Astaracian European Land Mammal Mega Zone, the upper Barstovian and lower Clarendonian North American Land Mammal Ages and the Laventan and lower Mayoan South American Land Mammal Ages. It is also coeval with the Sarmatian and upper Badenian stages of the Paratethys time scale of Central and eastern Europe.


The Serravallian stage was introduced in stratigraphy by the Italian geologist Lorenzo Pareto in 1865.[3] It was named after the town of Serravalle Scrivia in northern Italy.

The base of the Serravallian is at the first occurrence of fossils of the nanoplankton species Sphenolithus heteromorphus and is located in the magnetic chronozone C5ABr. The official Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Serravallian is in the 'Ras il-Pellegrin' section, located at the 'Ras il-Pellegrin' headland in the vicinity of 'Fomm ir-Rih' Bay, SW Malta.The base of the Serravallian is represented in the field as the formation boundary between the Globigerina Limestone formation and the Blue Clay formation.[4] The base of the Serravallian is related to the Mi3b oxygen isotope excursion marking the onset of the Middle Miocene Cooling step.

The top of the Serravallian (the base of the Tortonian stage) is at the last common appearance of calcareous nannoplanktons Discoaster kugleri and planktonic foram Globigerinoides subquadratus. It is also associated with the short normal-polarized magnetic chronozone C5r.2n.



  1. ^ "ICS Timescale Chart".
  2. ^ Gradstein et al. (2004)
  3. ^ Lorenzo Pareto, Note sur les subdivisions que l'on pourrait établir dans les terrains tertaires de l'Apennin septentrional In Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, volume 22, série 2, pp. 210-277
  4. ^ <>


  • Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G.; 2004: A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press.
  • Pareto, L.; 1865: Note sur la subdivision que l'on pourrait etablir dans les terrains de l'Apennin septentrional, Bulletin de la Societé Géologique de France 2(22), p. 210-277. (in French)

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