The Geologic Time Scale 2012, Volume 2

Front Cover
Felix M. Gradstein, J G Ogg, Gabi M. Ogg
Elsevier, Aug 14, 2012 - Science - 1176 pages

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.

  • The most detailed international geologic time scale available that contextualizes information in one single reference for quick desktop access
  • Gives insights in the construction, strengths, and limitations of the geological time scale that greatly enhances its function and its utility
  • Aids understanding by combining with the mathematical and statistical methods to scaled composites of global succession of events
  • Meets the needs of a range of users at various points in the workflow (researchers extracting linear time from rock records, students recognizing the geologic stage by their content)

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Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 The Chronostratigraphic Scale
Chapter 3 Biochronology
Chapter 4 Cyclostratigraphy and Astrochronology
Chapter 5 Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale
Chapter 6 Radiogenic Isotope Geochronology
Chapter 7 Strontium Isotope Stratigraphy
Chapter 8 Osmium Isotope Stratigraphy
Abbreviations and acronyms
Chapter 19 The Cambrian Period
Chapter 20 The Ordovician Period
Chapter 21 The Silurian Period
Chapter 22 The Devonian Period
Chapter 23 The Carboniferous Period
Chapter 24 The Permian Period

Chapter 9 Sulfur Isotope Stratigraphy
Chapter 10 Oxygen Isotope Stratigraphy
Chapter 11 Carbon Isotope Stratigraphy
Chapter 12 A Brief History of Plants on Earth
Chapter 13 Sequence Stratigraphy and SeaLevel Change
Chapter 14 Statistical Procedures
Chapter 15 The Planetary Time Scale
Chapter 16 A Chronostratigraphic Division of the Precambrian
Chapter 17 The Cryogenian Period
Chapter 18 The Ediacaran Period
Front Cover
The Geologic Time Scale 2012
Chapter 25 Triassic
Chapter 26 Jurassic
Chapter 27 Cretaceous
Chapter 28 The Paleogene Period
Chapter 29 The Neogene Period
30 The Quaternary Period
Chapter 31 The Prehistoric Human Time Scale
Chapter 32 The Anthropocene
Appendix 1 Color Codes for Geological Timescales
Appendix 2 Radiometric ages used in GTS2012
Appendix 3 Cenozoic and Cretaceous Biochronology of Planktonic Foraminifera and Calcareous Nannofossils
Geologic Time Scale 2012

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About the author (2012)

Felix M. Gradstein (Professor at Geology Museum, Oslo University, Norway; and visiting professor at University of Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, the University of Nebraska, USA and the University of Portsmouth, UK) and was Chair of the International Commission on Stratigraphy from 2000 to 2008, and under his tenure major progress was made with the formal definition of chronostratigraphic units from Precambrian through Quaternary. For his fundamental work with regards to the Geologic Time Scale and stratigraphy, micropaleontology and geochronology in general, the European Geosciences Union awarded him in 2010 the Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal. He teaches applied biostratigraphy and paleoenvironment courses and is the current Chair of the Geologic TimeScale Foundation (

Gradstein has authored over 140 scientific publications in the fields of geological time scales, quantitative stratigraphic methods, stratigraphy and sedimentology of petroleum basins, plate tectonics, palaeoceanography, and deep-water micropalaeontology. He has a career that spans the divides between industry, government and academia, with periods working for Esso and Saga Petroleum, the Geological Survey of Canada, and Dalhousie University. Gradstein recently won the 2012 PROSE Honorable Mention Award for a multi-volume scientific reference.

James G. Ogg (Professor at Purdue University, Indiana, USA; and visiting professor at China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China) served as Secretary General of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (2000-2008) and coordinated the ICS stratigraphy information service (2008-2012). 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.

Ogg has published over 100 articles and coordinated 2 books as first or co- author on aspects of stratigraphy in refereed journals since 1986, and has contributed to over 70 chapters in Deep Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Program volumes. He has also won numerous awards, including the Geological Society of America: Mary B. Ansari Best Reference Work Award for The Geologic Time Scale 2004 and most recently the 2012 PROSE Honorable Mention Award for a multi-volume scientific reference.

Gabi M. Ogg applied micropaleontology to Jurassic-Cretaceous correlations before concentrating on public outreach in geosciences. In addition to co-authoring the Concise Geologic TimeScale (GTS2008) book, she was a coordinator of GTS2012 and produced most of its the extensive array of graphics. She is the webmaster for the Geologic TimeScale Foundation ( and for the TimeScale Creator visualization and database suites (, and has produced numerous posters and time scale cards for public audiences.

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