Formal Subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch: A Summary
Journal of the Geological Society of India
Geological Society of India
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Walker, M., Gibbard, P., Head, M., Berkelhammer, M., Björck, S., Cheng, H., Cwynar, L., et al. (2019). Formal Subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch: A Summary. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 93 (2), 135-141. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-019-1141-9
The Holocene Series/Epoch is the most recent series/epoch in the geological timescale, spanning the interval from 11,700 yr to the present day. Together with the subadjacent Pleistocene, it comprises the Quaternary System/Period. The Holocene record contains diverse geomorphological, biotic, climatological and archaeological evidence, within sequences that are often continuous and extremely well-preserved at decadal, annual and even seasonal resolution. As a consequence, the Holocene is perhaps the most intensively-studied series/epoch within the entire Geological Time Scale. Yet until recently little attention had been paid to a formal subdivision of the Holocene. Here we describe an initiative by the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) to develop a formal stratigraphical subdivision of the Holocene, with three new stages/ages, two underpinned by Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSPs) in an ice core, and a third in a speleothem. These stages/ages are defined along with their equivalent subseries/subepochs. The new stages/ages are the Greenlandian with its GSSP in the Greenland NGRIP2 ice core and dated at 11,700 yr b2k (before 2000 CE); the NorthGrippian with its GSSP in the Greenland NGRIP1 ice core and dated to 8236 yr b2k; and the Meghalayan, with its GSSP in a speleothem from Mawmluh Cave, northeastern India, with a date of 4250 yr b2k. This subdivision was formally ratified by the Executive Committee of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) on 14th June 2018.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-019-1141-9
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/288488