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Episodes 2013; 36(3): 199-204

Published online September 1, 2013


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The ICS International Chronostratigraphic Chart

K.M. Cohen1, S.C. Finney2, P.L. Gibbard3, and J.-X. Fan4

1Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: k.m.cohen@uu.nl
2Department of Geological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach CA, USA. E-mail: Stan.Finney@csulb.edu
3Cambridge Quaternary, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, UK. E-mail: plg1@cam.ac.uk
4State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology & Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology & Palaeontology, CAS, Nanjing, PR China. E-mail:fanjunxuan@gmail.com

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) has a long tradition of producing international charts that communicate higher-order divisions of geological time and actual knowledge on the absolute numerical ages of their boundaries. The primary objective of ICS is to define precisely a global standard set of time-correlative units (Systems, Series, and Stages) for stratigraphic successions worldwide. These units are, in turn, the basis for the Periods, Epochs and Ages of the Geological Time Scale. Setting an international global standard is fundamental for expressing geological knowledge. It is also of considerable pragmatic importance as it provides the framework through which regional-scale higher-resolution divisions can be linked, equated and collated. This is a status update on the International Chronostratigraphic Chart and the ICS website www.stratigraphy.org.