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Subdivisions of the Quaternary System
Quaternary Holocene Meghalayan 0 4,200
Northgrippian 4,200 8,200
Greenlandian 8,200 11,700
Pleistocene 'Upper' 11,700 129ka
Chibanian or 'Middle' 129ka 774ka
Calabrian 774ka 1.80Ma
Gelasian 1.80Ma 2.58Ma
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 2.58Ma 3.60Ma
Notes and references[1][2]
Subdivision of the Quaternary Period according to the ICS, as of May 2019.[1]

For the Holocene, dates are relative to the year 2000 (e.g. Greenlandian began 11,700 years before 2000). For the beginning of the Northgrippian a date of 8,236 years before 2000 has been set.[2] The Meghalayan has been set to begin 4,250 years before 2000.[1]

'Tarantian' is an informal, unofficial name proposed for a stage/age to replace the equally informal, unofficial 'Upper Pleistocene' subseries/subepoch.

In Europe and North America, the Holocene is subdivided into Preboreal, Boreal, Atlantic, Subboreal, and Subatlantic stages of the Blytt-Sernander time scale. There are many regional subdivisions for the Upper or Late Pleistocene; usually these represent locally recognized cold (glacial) and warm (interglacial) periods. The last glacial period ends with the cold Younger Dryas substage.

In the geologic time scale, the Greenlandian is the earliest age or lowest stage of the Holocene epoch or series, part of the Quaternary.[3][4] It is one of three subdivisions of the Holocene. The lower boundary of the Greenlandian Age is the GSSP sample from the North Greenland Ice Core Project in central Greenland (75.1000°N 42.3200°W).[5] The Greenlandian GSSP has been correlated with the end of Younger Dryas (from near-glacial to interglacial) and a "shift in deuterium excess values".[5]

The age began 9700 BCE or 300 HE.[6]

The age was officially ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in July 2018 along with the Meghalayan and the Northgrippian.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Cohen, K. M.; Finney, S. C.; Gibbard, P. L.; Fan, J.-X. (January 2020). "International Chronostratigraphic Chart" (PDF). International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b Mike Walker; et al. (December 2018). "Formal ratification of the subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch (Quaternary System/Period)" (PDF). Episodes. Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS). 41 (4): 213-223. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/2018/018016. Retrieved 2019.This proposal on behalf of the SQS has been approved by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) and formally ratified by the Executive Committee of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
  3. ^ a b International Commission on Stratigraphy. "ICS chart containing the Quaternary and Cambrian GSSPs and new stages (v 2018/07) is now released!". Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Cohen, Kim Mikkel, David A. T. Harper, Philip Leonard Gibbard, and Junxuan Fan. "The ICS International Chronostratigraphic Chart". International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ a b International Commission on Stratigraphy. "GSSP Table - All Periods". GSSPs. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Amos, Jonathan (18 July 2018). "Welcome to the Meghalayan Age - a new phase in history". BBC News. Retrieved 2018.

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