~113.0 – 100.5 Ma
Name formalityFormal
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitAge
Stratigraphic unitStage
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionFAD of the Planktonic Foraminifer Microhedbergella renilaevis
Lower boundary GSSPCol de Pré-Guittard section, Arnayon, Drôme, France
44°29′47″N 5°18′41″E / 44.4964°N 5.3114°E / 44.4964; 5.3114
GSSP ratifiedApril 2016
Upper boundary definitionFAD of the Planktonic Foraminifer Rotalipora globotruncanoides
Upper boundary GSSPMont Risoux, Hautes-Alpes, France
44°23′33″N 5°30′43″E / 44.3925°N 5.5119°E / 44.3925; 5.5119
GSSP ratified2002

The Albian is both an age of the geologic timescale and a stage in the stratigraphic column. It is the youngest or uppermost subdivision of the Early/Lower Cretaceous Epoch/Series. Its approximate time range is 113.0 ± 1.0 Ma to 100.5 ± 0.9 Ma (million years ago). The Albian is preceded by the Aptian and followed by the Cenomanian.

Stratigraphic definitions

The Albian Stage was first proposed in 1842 by Alcide d'Orbigny. It was named after Alba, the Latin name for River Aube in France.

A Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP), ratified by the IUGS in 2016, defines the base of the Albian as the first occurrence of the planktonic foraminiferan Microhedbergella renilaevis at the Col de Pré-Guittard section, Arnayon, Drôme, France.

The top of the Albian Stage (the base of the Cenomanian Stage and Upper Cretaceous Series) is defined as the place where the foram species Rotalipora globotruncanoides first appears in the stratigraphic column.

The Albian is sometimes subdivided in Early/Lower, Middle and Late/Upper subages or substages. In western Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, a subdivision in two substages (Vraconian and Gaultian) is more often used.


Examples of Albian sedimentary rock are: the phosphorite beds of the Argonne and Bray areas in France; the Flammenmergel of northern Germany; the lignites of Utrillas in Spain; the Upper Nubian Sandstones, and the Fredericksburg beds of North America.

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