The Open UniversitySkip to content

What status for the Quaternary?

Gibbard, Philip L.; Smith, Alan G.; Zalasiewicz, Jan A.; Barry, Tiffany; Cantrill, David; Coe, Angela L.; Cope, John C. W.; Gale, Andrew S.; Gregory, F. John; Powell, John H.; Rawson, Peter F.; Stone, Philip and Waters, Colin N. (2005). What status for the Quaternary? Boreas, 34(1) pp. 1–6.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The status of the Quaternary, long regarded as a geological period effectively coincident with the main climatic deterioration of the current Ice Age, has recently been questioned as a formal stratigraphic unit. We argue here that it should be retained as a formal period of geological time. Furthermore, we consider that its beginning should be placed at the Gauss-Matuyama magnetic chron boundary at about 2.6 Ma, rather than at its current position at about 1.8 Ma. The Quaternary would be formally subdivided into the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs. The global chronostratigraphical correlation table proposed is enclosed at the back of this issue.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2005 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0300-9483
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 9209
Depositing User: Angela Coe
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 16:25
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:07
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU