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Communication of IUGS Geological Standards

Episodes 2022; 45(4): 445-453

Published online December 1, 2022


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Ratification of Neogene subseries as formal units in international chronostratigraphy

Marie-Pierre Aubry1*, Kenneth G. Miller1, Elena Turco2, José Abel Flores3, Andrey Gladenkov4, Patrick Grunert5, Frits Hilgen6, Hiroshi Nishi7, Ann Holbourn8, Wout Krijgsman9, Fabrizio Lirer10, Werner E. Piller11, Frédéric Quillévéré12, Isabella Raffi13, Marci Robinson14, Lorenzo Rook15, Jun Tian16, Maria Triantaphyllou17, Felipe Vallejo3,18

1 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08873, USA
2 Dipartimento di Scienze chimiche, della Vita e della Sostenibilità Ambientale, Università degli Studi di Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 157/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
3 Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
4 Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Pyzhevsky per., 7. Moscow 119017, Russia
5 University of Cologne, Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, 50674 Cologne, Germany
6 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
7 Institute of Dinosaur Research, Fukui Prefectural University, Eiheijicho, Fukui, 910-1142, Japan
8 Institute of Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel, D-24118 Kiel, Germany
9 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
10 Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Università di Roma, P. Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
11 Institut für Erdwissenschaften, NAWI Graz Geocenter, Universität Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
12 Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, ENS de Lyon, CNRS, UMR 5276 LGL-TPE, F-69622 Villeurbanne, France
13 Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Geologia (InGeo), Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" di Chieti-Pescara, 66013 Chieti Scalo, Italy
14 U.S. Geological Survey, Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, Reston, VA 20192, USA
15 Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Firenze, 4-50121 Firenze, Italy
16 State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, China
17 National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, Athens, Greece
18 Instituto de Investigaciones en Estratigrafía (IIES), Universidad de Caldas, Calle 65 # 26-10, Manizales, Colombia

Correspondence to:E-mail: aubry@eps.rutgers.edu

Received: November 28, 2021; Revised: February 22, 2022; Accepted: February 22, 2022

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 Union of Geological Sciences Executive Committee (IUGS EC) voted on 13 October 2021 to ratify a proposal for the Neogene subseries/subepochs to have formal status. They are now incorporated into a sixtiered chronostratigraphic hierarchy within the International Chronostratigraphic Chart (ICC). The Lower/Early Miocene Subseries/Subepoch comprises the Aquitanian and Burdigalian stages/ages, the Middle Miocene Subseries/Subepoch comprises the Langhian and Serravallian stages/ages, the Upper/Late Miocene Subseries/Subepoch comprises the Tortonian and Messinian stages/ages, the Lower/Early Pliocene Subseries/Subepoch comprises the Zanclean Stage/Age and the Upper/Late Pliocene Subseries/Subepoch comprises the Piacenzian Stage/Age. This ratification is an important move towards both a common language in the wider Earth Sciences community and a step forward in the unification of Cenozoic chronostratigraphy, with Neogene and Quaternary subseries/subepochs now formalized.