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GSSP Table - Cenozoic Era

Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP)
Ages from "The Geologic Time Scale 2012" by F.M. Gradstein, J.G. Ogg, M.D. Schmitz and G.M. Ogg, (2012, published by Elsevier)


Cenozoic Era Mesozoic Era Paleozoic Era Precambrian All Periods
Stage Age (Ma) GTS 2012 GSSP Location Latitude, Longitude Boundary Level Correlation Events Status Reference
Quaternary System
Holocene Series
Holocene Stage 0.0118 NorthGRIP ice core, central Greenland 75.1000°N 42.3200°W 1492.45m depth in Borehole NGRIP2 Climatic -- End of the Younger Dryas cold spell, which is reflected in a shift in deuterium excess values Ratified 2008 Episodes 31/2, 2008; J. Quaternary Sci., Vol. 24 pp. 3-17, 2009
Pleistocene Series
Tarantian Stage 0.126 Amsterdam-Terminal borehole, Netherlands 52.3792°N 4.9144°E 63.5 m below surface Climatic -- Base of the Eemian interglacial stage (= base of marine isotope stage 5e) before final glacial episode of Pleistocene. Base of Tyrrhrenian regional stage of Mediterranean Accepted by ICS in 2008, on hold by IUGS Episodes 31/2, 2008
Ionian Stage 0.781 Candidate sections in Italy (Montalbano Jorica or Valle di Manche) and Japan (Chiba) Magnetic -- Brunhes-Matuyama magnetic reversal (base of Chron 1n) Anticipated 2010
Calabrian Stage 1.806 Vrica, Italy 39.0385°N 17.1348°E base of the marine claystone overlying the sapropelic marker Bed 'e' (Mediterranean Precession Related Sapropel, MPRS 176) top of Olduvai magnetic subchron is about 8 m above the GSSP Ratified 1985 Episodes 8/2, p. 116 - 120, 1985; Episodes 35/3, p. 388 - 397, 2012
Gelasian Stage 2.588 Monte San Nicola, Sicily, Italy 37.1469°N 14.2035°E base of marly layer overlying sapropel MPRS 250 Magnetic -- Matuyama/Gauss boundary (C2r/C2An) is 1m below GSSP. GSSP level is within Marine Isotope Stage 103. Definition as base of Quaternary and Pleistocene ratified 2009 Episodes 21/2, p. 82-87, 1998
Neogene System
Pliocene Series
Piacenzian Stage 3.6 Punta Piccola, Sicily, Italy 37.2889°N 13.4933°E base of the beige marl bed of small-scale carbonate cycle 77 (MPRS 347) Magnetic -- Gauss/Gilbert (C2An/C2Ar) magnetic reversal is recorded immediately above the GSSP Ratified 1997 Episodes 21/2, p. 88-93, 1998
Zanclean Stage 5.333 Eraclea Minoa, Sicily, Italy 37.3917°N 13.2806°E base of the Trubi Formation which corresponds to Insolation cycle 510 Magnetic -- base of the Thvera magnetic event (C3n.4n) is only 96 kyr (5 precession cycles) younger than the GSSP. Ratified 2000 Episodes 23/3, p. 179 - 187, 2000
Miocene Series
Messinian Stage 7.246 Oued Akrech, Morocco 33.9369°N 6.8125°W reddish layer of sedimentary cycle number 15 Planktonic foraminifer first regular occurrence of Globorotalia miotumida, and calcareous nannofossil FAD Amaurolithus delicatus Ratified 2000 Episodes 23/3, p. 172 - 178, 2000
Tortonian Stage 11.63 Monte dei Corvi Beach, near Ancona, Italy 43.5867°N 13.5694°E mid-point of sapropel layer of basic cycle number 76. Calcareous nannofossil last common occurrence of Discoaster kugleri Ratified 2003 Episodes 28/1, p. 6 - 17, 2005
Serravallian Stage 13.82 Ras il Pellegrin section, Fomm Ir-Rih Bay, west coast of Malta 35.9139°N 14.3361°E formation boundary between the Globigerina Limestone and Blue Clay Formation Oxygen-isotopic event (global cooling episode) Mi3b; near calcareous nannofossil LAD ofSphenolithus heteromorphus Ratified 2007 Episodes, 32/3, 152 - 166, 2009
Langhian Stage 15.97 Potentially in astronomically-tuned ODP core (Leg 154) or in Italy (Moria or La Vedova ) Near planktonic foraminifer FAD of Praeorbulina glomerosa and top of magnetic polarity chronozone C5Cn.1n
Burdigalian Stage 20.44 Potentially in astronomically-tuned ODP core Near planktonic foraminifer FAD of Globigerinoides altiaperturus or near top of magnetic polarity chronozone C6An
Aquitanian Stage 23.03 Lemme-Carrioso Section, Allessandria Province, Italy 44.6589°N 8.8364°E 35m from the top of the section Magnetic -- base of Chron C6Cn.2n; planktonic foraminifer FAD of Paragloborotalia kugleri; calcareous nannofossil near LAD Reticulofenestra bisecta (base Zone NN1); Oxygen isotopic event Mi-1. Ratified 1996 Episodes 20/1, p. 23 - 28, 1997
Paleogene System
Oligocene Series
Chattian Stage 28.1 Possibly Monte Cagnero, Umbria-Marche region, Italy Potentially extinction of planktonic foraminifer Chiloguembelina (base Foram Zone P21b); or an isotopic/climatic event
Rupelian Stage 33.9 Massignano, near Ancona, Italy 43.5328°N 13.6011°E base of a 0.5m thick greenish-grey marl bed 19m above base of section Foraminifer LAD Hantkenina and Cribrohantkenina Ratified 1992 Episodes 16/3, p.379 - 382, 1993
Eocene Series
Priabonian Stage 37.8 ± 0.5 Alano section, Piave River; Veneto Prealps, Belluno province, N. Italy Tiziano Bed Calcareous nannofossil near FAD Chiasmolithus oamaruensis (base Zone NP18)
Bartonian Stage 41.2 ± 0.5 Contessa highway section near Gubio, Central Apennines, Italy Calcareous nannofossil near LAD Reticulofenestra reticulata
Lutetian Stage 47.8 ± 0.2 Gorrondatxe sea-cliff section,Basque Country, northern Spain 43.3796°N 3.0143°W at 167.85 metres in the Gorrondatxe section at a dark marly level Calcareous nannofossil FAD of Blackites inflatus Ratified 2011 Episodes 34/2, p. 86 - 108 2011
Ypresian Stage 56 Dababiya, near Luxor, Egypt 25.5000°N 32.5311°E base of Bed 1 in DBH subsection Carbon Isotope Excursion base, initiation of basal Eocene Thermal maximum ("PETM") Ratified 2003 Micropaleontology 49/1, p.41 - 59, 2003; Episodes 30/4, p. 271 - 286, 2007
Paleocene Series
Thanetian Stage 59.2 Zumaia section, northern Spain 43.2996°N 2.2609°W About 78 m above the Cretaceous/ Paleogene boundary; 6.5m above the base of Member B of the Itzurun Formation Magnetic -- Base of Chron C26n Ratified 2008 Episodes 34/4,p. 220-243, 2011
Selandian Stage 61.1 Zumaia section, northern Spain 43.2992°N 2.2610°W base of the red marls of Itzurun Formation Onset of a carbon isotope shift and sea-level drop, 30 precession cycles (~630 kyr) above the top of magnetic polarity Chron 27n Ratified 2008 Episodes 34/4,p. 220-243, 2011
Danian Stage 66 ± 0.05 Oued Djerfane, west of El Kef, Tunisia 36.1537°N 8.6486°E reddish layer at the base of the 50cm thick, dark boundary clay Iridium geochemical anomaly. Associated with a major extinction horizon (dinosaurs, ammonites, foraminifers, etc.) Ratified 1991 Episodes 29/4, p. 263 - 278, 2006