List of Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (Redirected from List of GSSPs)

This is a list of Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points. Since 1977, Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (abbreviated GSSPs) are internationally agreed upon reference points on stratigraphic sections of rock which define the lower boundaries of stages on the geologic time scale. They are selected by the International Commission on Stratigraphy based on multiple factors, but their accessibility and the degree to which they are representative of the same boundary on sections worldwide are among the most important.

Since GSSPs require well-preserved sections of rock without interruptions in sedimentation, and since most are defined by different stages of animal life, defining them becomes progressively more difficult as one goes further back in time.

Organization of this list

This list is divided first into the geologic eras of the Phanerozoic (the Cenozoic, the Mesozoic, and the Paleozoic) and then into the geologic periods of each era. Each period is marked below the era bar on top of its subdivided epochs and stages. Each stage is assigned an age in mya, an acronym for million years ago, which is the age at which it began. Most of these ages are derived from astronomical cycles in sediments, magnetic data, biostratigraphic data, and radiometric dating methods. The GSSP assigned to each stage is that stage's lower boundary and oldest point.

Ages are given in "million year ago" (mya). They are obtained with different radiometric dating methods depending on the type of rock and its age. Ages that have a tilde (~) prefix are approximate ages for GSSPs that have not been defined or not been accurately dated.

The Status column has a "golden spike" for every GSSP which has been formally agreed by the ICS. Those without have only candidate sections which have not yet been formally ratified. The clock stands for times that are currently defined only by an age.

The "Defining markers" column lists the evidence in the rock used to define the boundary. (Ideally, these are applicable in rock sections worldwide.) Most of the boundaries rely on the fossil record (biologic), paleomagnetic data (magnetic), and/or climate data determined by carbon and oxygen isotopes.

List

Cenozoic

Quaternary

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Holocene
Meghalayan 0.0042
Mawmluh Cave, Meghalaya, India 25°15′44″N 91°42′54″E / 25.2622°N 91.7150°E / 25.2622; 91.7150
Northgrippian 0.0082
NGRIP1 ice core,

Greenland

75°06′00″N 42°19′12″W / 75.1000°N 42.3200°W / 75.1000; -42.3200
Greenlandian 0.0117
NGRIP2 ice core,

Greenland

75°06′00″N 42°19′12″W / 75.1000°N 42.3200°W / 75.1000; -42.3200
Pleistocene
Upper/Late 0.129 -
  • Climatic: Marine Isotope Substage 5e
- -
Chibanian 0.774
Chiba, Japan 35°17′39″N 140°08′47″E / 35.2943°N 140.1465°E / 35.2943; 140.1465
Calabrian 1.8
Vrica Section,

Calabria, Italy

39°02′19″N 17°08′05″E / 39.0385°N 17.1348°E / 39.0385; 17.1348
Gelasian 2.58
Monte San Nicola Section,

Gela, Sicily, Italy

37°08′47″N 14°12′16″E / 37.146468°N 14.204562°E / 37.146468; 14.204562

Neogene

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Pliocene
Piacenzian 3.6
Punta Piccola Section,

Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Italy

37°17′22″N 13°29′29″E / 37.289386°N 13.491443°E / 37.289386; 13.491443
Zanclean 5.333
Heraclea Minoa section

Heraclea Minoa, Cattolica Eraclea, Sicily, Italy

37°23′33″N 13°16′52″E / 37.392435°N 13.281052°E / 37.392435; 13.281052
Miocene
Messinian 7.246
Oued Akrech section,

Rabat, Morocco

33°55′30″N 6°48′33″W / 33.925050°N 6.809047°W / 33.925050; -6.809047
Tortonian 11.63
Monte dei Corvi Beach section,

Ancona, Italy

43°35′14″N 13°33′58″E / 43.587242°N 13.566148°E / 43.587242; 13.566148
Serravallian 13.82
Ras il Pellegrin section,

Fomm ir-Riħ Bay, Malta

  • Magnetic: Within magnetic polarity chronozone C5ABr.
  • Biologic: Below first appearance of Sphenolithus heteromorphus (Haptophyte)
  • Climatic: Mi3b isotopic event (Global cooling episode).
35°54′50″N 14°20′10″E / 35.9139°N 14.3361°E / 35.9139; 14.3361
Langhian 15.98
At 17.84 m in the 'Lower La Vedova Beach' section, Ancona, Italy 43°35′31″N 13°33′44″E / 43.5919°N 13.5623°E / 43.5919; 13.5623
Burdigalian 20.44 Candidate sections:
  • Astronomically tuned ODP core (e.g. Ceara Rise, Leg 154)
-
Aquitanian 23.03
Lemme-Carrosio Section,

Carrosio, Italy

44°39′36″N 8°50′21″E / 44.6601°N 8.83928°E / 44.6601; 8.83928

Paleogene

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Oligocene
Chattian 27.82
Monte Cagnero, Central Apennines, Italy Biological: last occurrence of the planktonic foraminifer Chiloguembelina (Base of Foram Zone P21b) 43°38′48″N 12°28′04″E / 43.646748°N 12.467771°E / 43.646748; 12.467771
Rupelian 33.9
Massignano quarry section,

Massignano, Ancona, Italy

43°32′10″N 13°35′33″E / 43.536038°N 13.592499°E / 43.536038; 13.592499
Eocene
Priabonian 37.71
Alano section,

Piave river, Venetian Prealps, Belluno, Italy

  • Biologic: Last appearance of large acarininids and Morozovelloides crassatus; The Base of common and continuous Cribrocentrum erbae and the Top of Chiasmolithus grandis
  • Magnetic: The Base of Chronozone C17n and Subchron C17n.2n
45°54′51″N 11°55′05″E / 45.9141°N 11.9180°E / 45.9141; 11.9180
Bartonian 41.2 Contessa highway section

Gubbio, Central Apennines, Italy

43°22′47″N 12°33′44″E / 43.37972°N 12.56219°E / 43.37972; 12.56219 -
Lutetian 47.8
Gorrondatxe sea-cliff section,

Western Pyrenees, Basque Country, Spain

43°22′47″N 3°00′51″W / 43.3796°N 3.0143°W / 43.3796; -3.0143
Ypresian 56
Dababiya section,

Luxor, Egypt

  • Climatic: Base of negative Carbon Isotope Excursion (CIE).
25°30′00″N 32°31′52″E / 25.5000°N 32.5311°E / 25.5000; 32.5311
Paleocene
Thanetian 59.2
Zumaia Section,

Basque Country, Spain

  • Magnetic: Base of magnetic polarity chronozone C26n.
43°17′59″N 2°15′39″W / 43.2996°N 2.2609°W / 43.2996; -2.2609
Selandian 61.6
Zumaia Section,

Basque Country, Spain

  • Chemical: Onset of sea-level drop and carbon isotope shift.
  • Magnetic: 30 precession cycles after the top of magnetic polarity Chron 27n
43°17′57″N 2°15′40″W / 43.2992°N 2.2610°W / 43.2992; -2.2610
Danian 66
El Kef Section,

El Kef, Tunisia

36°09′13″N 8°38′55″E / 36.1537°N 8.6486°E / 36.1537; 8.6486

Mesozoic

Cretaceous

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Upper
Maastrichtian 72.1
Grande Carrière quarry,

Landes, France

43°40′46″N 1°06′48″W / 43.6795°N 1.1133°W / 43.6795; -1.1133
Campanian 83.6
Bottaccione, Gubbio, Italy
  • Magnetic: Base of Chron C33r.
43°21′46″N 12°34′58″E / 43.3627°N 12.5828°E / 43.3627; 12.5828
Santonian 86.3
Olazagutia, Spain 42°52′00″N 2°11′48″W / 42.8668°N 2.1968°W / 42.8668; -2.1968
Coniacian 89.8
Salzgitter-Salder quarry, Germany 52°07′27″N 10°19′46″E / 52.1243°N 10.3295°E / 52.1243; 10.3295
Turonian 93.9
Rock Canyon,

Colorado, United States

38°16′56″N 104°43′39″W / 38.2822°N 104.7275°W / 38.2822; -104.7275
Cenomanian 100.5
Mont Risoux,

Hautes-Alpes, France

44°23′28″N 5°30′39″E / 44.391120°N 5.510970°E / 44.391120; 5.510970
Lower
Albian 113
Col de Pré-Guittard section, Arnayon, Drôme, France 44°30′28″N 5°17′50″E / 44.507861°N 5.297250°E / 44.507861; 5.297250
Aptian 121.4 Candidate section: - -
Barremian 125.77
Río Argos, Caravaca de la Cruz, Murcia Province, Spain
  • Biologic: First appearance of Ammonite Taveraidiscus hugii.
-
Hauterivian 132.6
La Charce, Drôme, France 44°28′10″N 5°26′37″E / 44.4694°N 5.4437°E / 44.4694; 5.4437
Valanginian 139.8 Candidates sections: - -
Berriasian 145 Candidate section:

Candidates:

Jurassic

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Upper
Tithonian 149.2 Candidate sections:
  • Magnetic: Base of magnetic polarity chronozone M22An.
  • Biologic: Near first appearance of Hybonoticeras hybonotum (Ammonite).
  • Biologic: First appearance of genus Gravesia (Ammonite).
- -
Kimmeridgian 154.8
Flodigarry, Isle of Skye, Scotland, U.K. 57°39′40″N 6°14′44″W / 57.6610°N 6.2455°W / 57.6610; -6.2455
Oxfordian 161.5 Candidate sections: - -
Middle
Callovian 165.3 Candidate sections: - -
Bathonian 168.2
Ravin du Bès, Bas-Auran, Alpes de Haute, France
  • Biologic: First appearance of Gonolkites convergen (Ammonite).
43°57′38″N 6°18′55″E / 43.9606°N 6.3153°E / 43.9606; 6.3153
Bajocian 170.9
Cabo Mondego, Portugal 40°11′57″N 8°54′15″W / 40.1992°N 8.9042°W / 40.1992; -8.9042
Aalenian 174.7
Fuentelsaz, Spain
  • Biologic: First appearance of Leioceras opalinum and Leioceras lineatum
  • Biologic: First appearance of genus Leioceras (Ammonite).
41°4′44.9″N 1°49′49.2″W / 41.079139°N 1.830333°W / 41.079139; -1.830333
Lower
Toarcian 184.2
Peniche, Portugal 39°22′15″N 9°23′07″W / 39.3708°N 9.3853°W / 39.3708; -9.3853
Pliensbachian 192.9
Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire, England, U.K. 54°24′25″N 0°29′51″W / 54.4069°N 0.4975°W / 54.4069; -0.4975
Sinemurian 199.5
East Quantoxhead, West Somerset, England, UK 51°11′27″N 3°14′11″W / 51.1909°N 3.2364°W / 51.1909; -3.2364
Hettangian 201.4
Kuhjoch section, Karwendel mountains, Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria 47°29′02″N 11°31′50″E / 47.4839°N 11.5306°E / 47.4839; 11.5306

Triassic

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Upper
Rhaetian ~208.5 Candidate sections: - -
Norian ~227 Candidate sections: - -
Carnian ~237
Prati di Stuores, Dolomites, Italy 46°31′37″N 11°55′49″E / 46.5269°N 11.9303°E / 46.5269; 11.9303
Middle
Ladinian ~242
Bagolino, Lombardian pre-Alps, Italy 45°49′06″N 10°28′13″E / 45.818380°N 10.470270°E / 45.818380; 10.470270
Anisian 247.2 Candidate sections: 45°04′27″N 28°48′08″E / 45.0742°N 28.8022°E / 45.0742; 28.8022
Lower
Olenekian 251.2 Candidate sections: 31°57′55″N 78°01′29″E / 31.9654°N 78.0246°E / 31.9654; 78.0246
Induan 251.9
Meishan, Zhejiang, China 31°04′47″N 119°42′21″E / 31.0798°N 119.7058°E / 31.0798; 119.7058

Paleozoic

Permian

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Lopingian
Changhsingian 254.14
Zhejiang, China 31°04′55″N 119°42′23″E / 31.0819°N 119.7064°E / 31.0819; 119.7064
Wuchiapingian 259.51
Penglaitan Section,

Laibin, Guangxi, China

23°41′43″N 109°19′16″E / 23.6953°N 109.3211°E / 23.6953; 109.3211
Guadalupian
Capitanian 264.28
Nipple Hill, Guadalupe Mountains, Texas, U.S.A. 31°54′33″N 104°47′21″W / 31.9091°N 104.7892°W / 31.9091; -104.7892
Wordian 266.9
Guadalupe Pass, Guadalupe Mountains, Texas, U.S.A. 31°51′57″N 104°49′58″W / 31.8658°N 104.8328°W / 31.8658; -104.8328
Roadian 273.01
Stratotype Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains, Texas, U.S.A. 31°52′36″N 104°52′36″W / 31.8767°N 104.8768°W / 31.8767; -104.8768
Cisuralian
Kungurian 283.5 Candidate section: -
Artinskian 290.1
Dalny Tulkas section, Southern Ural Mountains, Russia 53°53′18″N 56°30′58″E / 53.88847°N 56.51615°E / 53.88847; 56.51615
Sakmarian 293.52
Usolka section, Southern Urals, Russia
  • Biologic: First appearance of Mesogondolella monstra (Conodont).
53°55′29″N 56°43′43″E / 53.9247°N 56.7287°E / 53.9247; 56.7287
Asselian 298.9
Aidaralash, Ural Mountains, Kazakhstan 50°14′45″N 57°53′29″E / 50.2458°N 57.8914°E / 50.2458; 57.8914

Carboniferous

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Pennsylvanian
Gzhelian 303.7 Candidate sections: -
Kasimovian 307 Candidate sections:
  • Biologic: First appearance of Protriticites or 1 million years older Montiparus montiparus
-
Moscovian 315.2 Candidate sections: -
Bashkirian 323.2
Arrow Canyon, Nevada, United States 36°44′00″N 114°46′40″W / 36.7333°N 114.7778°W / 36.7333; -114.7778
Mississippian
Serpukhovian 330.9 Candidate sections: -
Visean 346.7
Pengchong Section,

Guangxi, China

  • Biologic: First appearance of Eoparastaffella simplex
24°26′00″N 109°27′00″E / 24.4333°N 109.4500°E / 24.4333; 109.4500
Tournaisian 358.9
La Serre, Montagne Noire, France 43°33′20″N 3°21′26″E / 43.5555°N 3.3573°E / 43.5555; 3.3573

Devonian

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Upper
Famennian 372.2
Coumiac quarry,Coumiac [fr]

Montagne Noire, France

43°28′14″N 3°03′35″E / 43.4705°N 3.0597°E / 43.4705; 3.0597
Frasnian 382.7
Col du Puech de la Suque, Montagne Noire, France
  • Biologic: First appearance of Ancyrodella rotundiloba (Conodont).
43°30′12″N 3°05′12″E / 43.5032°N 3.0868°E / 43.5032; 3.0868
Middle
Givetian 387.7
Jebel Mech Irdane, Tafilalt, Morocco 31°14′15″N 4°21′15″W / 31.2374°N 4.3541°W / 31.2374; -4.3541
Eifelian 393.3
Wetteldorf Richtschnitt section,

Wetteldorf, Eifel, Germany

50°08′59″N 6°28′18″E / 50.1496°N 6.4716°E / 50.1496; 6.4716
Lower
Emsian 407.6
Zinzil'ban Gorge, Uzbekistan 39°12′00″N 67°18′20″E / 39.2000°N 67.3056°E / 39.2000; 67.3056
Pragian 410.8
Velká Chuchle quarry

Velká Chuchle, Prague, Czech Republic

  • Biologic: First appearance of Eognathodus sulcatus (Conodont).
50°00′53″N 14°22′21″E / 50.0147°N 14.3726°E / 50.0147; 14.3726
Lochkovian 419.2
Klonk, Prague, Czech Republic 49°54′03″N 14°03′40″E / 49.90083°N 14.06111°E / 49.90083; 14.06111

Silurian

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Přídolí 423
Požáry Section,

Řeporyje District, Prague, Czech Republic

50°01′40″N 14°19′30″E / 50.0277°N 14.3249°E / 50.0277; 14.3249
Ludlow
Ludfordian 425.6
Sunnyhill, Ludlow, Shropshire, England, U.K.
  • Imprecise GSSP.
  • Biologic: Near first appearance of Saetograptus leintwardinensis (Graptolite).
52°21′33″N 2°46′38″W / 52.3592°N 2.7772°W / 52.3592; -2.7772
Gorstian 427.4
Pitch Coppice, Ludlow, Shropshire, England, U.K.
  • Biologic: First appearance Saetograptus (Colonograptus) varians
52°21′33″N 2°46′38″W / 52.3592°N 2.7772°W / 52.3592; -2.7772
Wenlock
Homerian 430.5
Whitwell Coppice, Homer, England, U.K. 52°36′56″N 2°33′53″W / 52.6156°N 2.5647°W / 52.6156; -2.5647
Sheinwoodian 433.4
Hughley Brook, Apedale, England, U.K.
  • Imprecise GSSP. Will be reexamined.
  • Biologic: Currently between acritarch biozone 5 and last appearance of Pterospathodus amorphognathoides. Candidate boundaries are a conodont boundary (Ireviken datum 2) which is close to the murchisoni graptolite biozone.
52°34′52″N 2°38′20″W / 52.5811°N 2.6389°W / 52.5811; -2.6389
Llandovery
Telychian 438.5
Cefn-cerig Road,

Llandovery, Wales, U.K.

51°58′12″N 3°47′24″W / 51.9700°N 3.7900°W / 51.9700; -3.7900
Aeronian 440.8
Trefawr Track, Llandovery, Wales, U.K. 52°01′48″N 3°42′00″W / 52.0300°N 3.7000°W / 52.0300; -3.7000
Rhuddanian 443.8
Dob's Linn, Moffat, Dumfries-shire, Scotland, U.K.
  • Biologic: First appearance of Akidograptus ascensus and Parakidograptus acuminatus (Graptolite).
  • 1.6 m above the base of the Birkhill Shale Formation.
55°25′48″N 3°16′19″W / 55.429889°N 3.272036°W / 55.429889; -3.272036

Ordovician

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Upper
Hirnantian 445.2
Wangjiawan section

Wangjiawan, Yichang, China

  • Biologic: First appearance of Normalograptus extraordinarius (Graptolite).
  • Climatic: Base of major positive carbon isotope excursion.
  • Climatic: Beginning of sea-level fall associated with onset of a major glaciation.
30°59′03″N 111°25′11″E / 30.9841°N 111.4197°E / 30.9841; 111.4197
Katian 453
Black Knob Ridge section,

Oklahoma, United States

  • Biologic: First appearance of Diplacanthograptus caudatus (Graptolite).
  • Climatic: Just below base of Guttenberg carbon isotope excursion.
34°25′50″N 96°04′29″W / 34.4305°N 96.0746°W / 34.4305; -96.0746
Sandbian 458.4
Fågelsång section

Sularp Brook, Skåne, Sweden

55°42′49″N 13°19′32″E / 55.7137°N 13.3255°E / 55.7137; 13.3255
Middle
Darriwilian 467.3
Huangnitang Section

Huangnitang Village, Changshan, Zhejiang, China

  • Biologic: First appearance of Undulograptus austrodentatus (Graptolite).
28°51′14″N 118°29′23″E / 28.8539°N 118.4897°E / 28.8539; 118.4897
Dapingian 470
Huanghuachang section

Huanghuachang, Yichang, China

30°51′38″N 111°22′26″E / 30.8605°N 111.3740°E / 30.8605; 111.3740
Lower
Floian 477.7
Diabasbrottet quarry,

Västergötland, Sweden

58°21′32″N 12°30′09″E / 58.3589°N 12.5024°E / 58.3589; 12.5024
Tremadocian 485.4
Greenpoint section

Green Point, Newfoundland, Canada

49°40′58″N 57°57′55″W / 49.6829°N 57.9653°W / 49.6829; -57.9653

Cambrian

Epoch Stage Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Furongian
Stage 10 489.5 Candidate sections:

Candidates:

-
Jiangshanian ~494
Duibian B Section

Duibian, Zhejiang, China

28°48′57″N 118°36′54″E / 28.815967°N 118.614933°E / 28.815967; 118.614933
Paibian ~497
Paibi section

Paibi, Hunan, China

28°23′22″N 109°31′33″E / 28.3895°N 109.5257°E / 28.3895; 109.5257
Miaolingian
Guzhangian ~500.5
Luoyixi section

Luoyixi, Guzhang, Hunan, China

28°43′12″N 109°57′53″E / 28.7200°N 109.9647°E / 28.7200; 109.9647
Drumian ~504.5
Drumian section

Wheeler Shale, Utah, U.S.A.

39°30′42″N 112°59′29″W / 39.5117°N 112.9915°W / 39.5117; -112.9915
Wuliuan ~509
Wuliu-Zengjiayan, Guizhou, China 26°04′51″N 108°24′50″E / 26.0807°N 108.4138°E / 26.0807; 108.4138
Series 2
Stage 4 ~514 None -
Stage 3 ~521 None -
Terreneuvian
Stage 2 ~529 None - -
Fortunian 538.8
Fortune head section,

Newfoundland, Canada

47°04′34″N 55°49′52″W / 47.0762°N 55.8310°W / 47.0762; -55.8310

Precambrian

Proterozoic

Era Period Age (mya) Status GSSP location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Neoproterozoic
Ediacaran ~635
Enorama Creek section

Flinders Ranges, South Australia

  • Geologic: Worldwide distinct cap carbonates.
  • Isotopic: Beginning of a distinctive pattern of secular changes in carbon isotopes.
31°19′53″S 138°38′00″E / 31.3314°S 138.6334°E / -31.3314; 138.6334
Cryogenian ~720 Defined chronometrically with an interim calibrated age of ca. 720 Ma. GSSP is in progress.
  • Geologic: the GSSP has been recommended to be placed at a stratigraphic level beneath the first appearance of widespread glaciation associated with the Sturtian glacial epoch.
-
Tonian 1000
Defined chronometrically - -
Mesoproterozoic
Stenian 1200
Defined chronometrically - -
Ectasian 1400
Defined chronometrically - -
Calymmian 1600
Defined chronometrically - -
Paleoproterozoic
Statherian 1800
Defined chronometrically - -
Orosirian 2050
Defined chronometrically - -
Rhyacian 2300
Defined chronometrically - -
Siderian 2500
Defined chronometrically - -

Archean and Hadean

Eon Era Age (mya) Status GSSP/GSSA location Defining markers Geographic Coordinates References
Archean
Neoarchean 2800
- Defined chronometrically - -
Mesoarchean 3200
- Defined chronometrically - -
Paleoarchean 3600
- Defined chronometrically - -
Eoarchean 4031
Along the Acasta River, Northwest Territories, Canada Defined chronometrically

Ten oldest U-Pb zircon ages

65°10′26″N 115°33′14″W / 65.1738°N 115.5538°W / 65.1738; -115.5538
Hadean - 4567.3
- Defined chronometrically

Formation of the Solar System

-

See also


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