The Holocene is the current geological epoch. It began 11,650 cal years before present, after the last glacial period, which concluded with the Holocene glacial retreat; the Holocene and the preceding Pleistocene together form the Quaternary period. The Holocene has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1, it is considered by some to be an interglacial period within the Pleistocene Epoch. The Holocene has seen the growth and impacts of the human species worldwide, including all its written history, development of major civilizations, overall significant transition toward urban living in the present. Human impacts on modern-era Earth and its ecosystems may be considered of global significance for future evolution of living species, including synchronous lithospheric evidence, or more hydrospheric and atmospheric evidence of human impacts. In July 2018, the International Union of Geological Sciences split the Holocene epoch into three distinct subsections, Greenlandian and Meghalayan, as proposed by International Commission on Stratigraphy.
The boundary stratotype of Meghalayan is a speleothem in Mawmluh cave in India, the global auxiliary stratotype is an ice core from Mount Logan in Canada. The name Holocene comes from the Ancient Greek words ὅλος and καινός, meaning "entirely recent", it is accepted by the International Commission on Stratigraphy that the Holocene started 11,650 cal years BP. The Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy quotes Gibbard and van Kolfschoten in Gradstein Ogg and Smith in stating the term'Recent' as an alternative to Holocene is invalid and should not be used and observe that the term Flandrian, derived from marine transgression sediments on the Flanders coast of Belgium has been used as a synonym for Holocene by authors who consider the last 10,000 years should have the same stage-status as previous interglacial events and thus be included in the Pleistocene; the International Commission on Stratigraphy, considers the Holocene an epoch following the Pleistocene and the last glacial period. Local names for the last glacial period include the Wisconsinan in North America, the Weichselian in Europe, the Devensian in Britain, the Llanquihue in Chile and the Otiran in New Zealand.
The Holocene can be subdivided into five time intervals, or chronozones, based on climatic fluctuations: Preboreal, Atlantic and Subatlantic. Note: "ka" means "kilo-annum" Before Present, i.e. 1,000 years before 1950 The Blytt–Sernander classification of climatic periods defined by plant remains in peat mosses, is being explored. Geologists working in different regions are studying sea levels, peat bogs and ice core samples by a variety of methods, with a view toward further verifying and refining the Blytt–Sernander sequence, they find a general correspondence across Eurasia and North America, though the method was once thought to be of no interest. The scheme was defined for Northern Europe, but the climate changes were claimed to occur more widely; the periods of the scheme include a few of the final pre-Holocene oscillations of the last glacial period and classify climates of more recent prehistory. Paleontologists have not defined any faunal stages for the Holocene. If subdivision is necessary, periods of human technological development, such as the Mesolithic and Bronze Age, are used.
However, the time periods referenced by these terms vary with the emergence of those technologies in different parts of the world. Climatically, the Holocene may be divided evenly into the Neoglacial periods. According to some scholars, a third division, the Anthropocene, has now begun; the International Commission on Stratigraphy Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy’s working group on the'Anthropocene' note this term is used to denote the present time interval in which many geologically significant conditions and processes have been profoundly altered by human activities. The'Anthropocene' is not a formally defined geological unit. Continental motions due to plate tectonics are less than a kilometre over a span of only 10,000 years. However, ice melt caused world sea levels to rise about 35 m in the early part of the Holocene. In addition, many areas above about 40 degrees north latitude had been depressed by the weight of the Pleistocene glaciers and rose as much as 180 m due to post-glacial rebound over the late Pleistocene and Holocene, are still rising today.
The sea level rise and temporary land depression allowed temporary marine incursions into areas that are now far from the sea. Holocene marine fossils are known, from Vermont and Michigan. Other than higher-latitude temporary marine incursions associated with glacial depression, Holocene fossils are found in lakebed and cave deposits. Holocene marine deposits along low-latitude coastlines are rare because the rise in sea levels during the period exceeds any tectonic uplift of non-glacial origin. Post-glacial rebound in the Scandinavia region resulted in the formation of the Baltic Sea; the region continues to rise, still causing weak earthquakes across Northern Europe. The equivalent event in North America was the rebound of Hudson Bay, as it shrank from its larger, immediate post-glacial Tyrrell Sea phase, to near its present boundaries. Climate has been stable over the Holocene. Ice core
The Norian is a division of the Triassic geological period. It has the rank of an stage; the Norian lasted from ~227 to 208.5 million years ago. It was succeeded by the Rhaetian; the Norian was named after the Noric Alps in Austria. The stage was introduced into scientific literature by Austrian geologist Edmund Mojsisovics von Mojsvar in 1869; the Norian stage begins at the base of the ammonite biozones of Klamathites macrolobatus and Stikinoceras kerri, at the base of the conodont biozones of Metapolygnathus communisti and Metapolygnathus primitius. A global reference profile for the base had in 2009 not yet been appointed; the top of the Norian is at the first appearance of ammonite species Cochloceras amoenum. The base of the Rheatian is close to the first appearance of conodont species Misikella spp. and Epigondolella mosheri and the radiolarid species Proparvicingula moniliformis. In the Tethys domain, the Norian stage contains six ammonite biozones: zone of Halorites macer zone of Himavatites hogarti zone of Cyrtopleurites bicrenatus zone of Juvavites magnus zone of Malayites paulckei zone of Guembelites jandianus Synapsids Aetosaurs Dicynodonts Phytosaurs Acanthinites Pinacoceras layeri Brack, P..
Gradstein, F. M.. G. & Smith, A. G.. Kielan-Jaworowska, Z.. Martz, J. W.. GeoWhen Database - Norian Upper Triassic timescale, at the website of the subcommission for stratigraphic information of the ICS Norges Network of offshore records of geology and stratigraphy: Stratigraphic charts for the Triassic, and
The Ladinian is a stage and age in the Middle Triassic series or epoch. It spans the time between ~ 237 Ma; the Ladinian was succeeded by the Carnian. The Ladinian is coeval with the Falangian Chinese regional stage; the Ladinian was established by Austrian geologist Alexander Bittner in 1892. Its name comes from the Ladin people; the base of the Ladinian stage is defined as the place in the stratigraphic record where the ammonite species Eoprotrachyceras curionii first appears or the first appearance of the conodont Budurovignathus praehungaricus. The global reference profile for the base is at an outcrop in the river bed of the Caffaro river at Bagolino, in the province of Brescia, northern Italy; the top of the Ladinian is at the first appearance of ammonite species Daxatina canadensis. The Ladinian is sometimes subdivided into two subages or substages, the Fassanian and the Longobardian; the Ladinian contains four ammonite biozones, which are evenly distributed among the two substages: zone of Frechites regoledanus zone of Protrachyceras archelaus zone of Protrachyceras gredleri zone of Eoprotrachyceras curionii Many Ladinian and Carnian vertebrates have been discovered in the paleorrota in Brazil: Rhynchosaurs, exaeretodonts, Guaibasaurus, Saturnalia tupiniquim, Sacisaurus and many others.
Paleorrota lies within the Caturrita Formation. Vertebrates of Ladinian age include: Spondylosoma Dicynodonts Paleorrota Bittner, A.. Brack, P.. Gradstein, F. M.. G. & Smith, A. G.. GeoWhen Database - Ladinian Upper Triassic and Lower Triassic timescales, at the website of the subcommission for stratigraphic information of the ICS Norges Network of offshore records of geology and stratigraphy: Stratigraphic charts for the Triassic, and
The Jurassic period was a geologic period and system that spanned 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic Era known as the Age of Reptiles; the start of the period was marked by the major Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Two other extinction events occurred during the period: the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction in the Early Jurassic, the Tithonian event at the end; the Jurassic period is divided into three epochs: Early and Late. In stratigraphy, the Jurassic is divided into the Lower Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic series of rock formations; the Jurassic is named after the Jura Mountains within the European Alps, where limestone strata from the period were first identified. By the beginning of the Jurassic, the supercontinent Pangaea had begun rifting into two landmasses: Laurasia to the north, Gondwana to the south; this created more coastlines and shifted the continental climate from dry to humid, many of the arid deserts of the Triassic were replaced by lush rainforests.
On land, the fauna transitioned from the Triassic fauna, dominated by both dinosauromorph and crocodylomorph archosaurs, to one dominated by dinosaurs alone. The first birds appeared during the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs. Other major events include the appearance of the earliest lizards, the evolution of therian mammals, including primitive placentals. Crocodilians made the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic mode of life; the oceans were inhabited by marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, while pterosaurs were the dominant flying vertebrates. The chronostratigraphic term "Jurassic" is directly linked to the Jura Mountains, a mountain range following the course of the France–Switzerland border. During a tour of the region in 1795, Alexander von Humboldt recognized the limestone dominated mountain range of the Jura Mountains as a separate formation that had not been included in the established stratigraphic system defined by Abraham Gottlob Werner, he named it "Jura-Kalkstein" in 1799.
The name "Jura" is derived from the Celtic root *jor via Gaulish *iuris "wooded mountain", borrowed into Latin as a place name, evolved into Juria and Jura. The Jurassic period is divided into three epochs: Early and Late. In stratigraphy, the Jurassic is divided into the Lower Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic series of rock formations known as Lias and Malm in Europe; the separation of the term Jurassic into three sections originated with Leopold von Buch. The faunal stages from youngest to oldest are: During the early Jurassic period, the supercontinent Pangaea broke up into the northern supercontinent Laurasia and the southern supercontinent Gondwana; the Jurassic North Atlantic Ocean was narrow, while the South Atlantic did not open until the following Cretaceous period, when Gondwana itself rifted apart. The Tethys Sea closed, the Neotethys basin appeared. Climates were warm, with no evidence of a glacier having appeared; as in the Triassic, there was no land over either pole, no extensive ice caps existed.
The Jurassic geological record is good in western Europe, where extensive marine sequences indicate a time when much of that future landmass was submerged under shallow tropical seas. In contrast, the North American Jurassic record is the poorest of the Mesozoic, with few outcrops at the surface. Though the epicontinental Sundance Sea left marine deposits in parts of the northern plains of the United States and Canada during the late Jurassic, most exposed sediments from this period are continental, such as the alluvial deposits of the Morrison Formation; the Jurassic was a time of calcite sea geochemistry in which low-magnesium calcite was the primary inorganic marine precipitate of calcium carbonate. Carbonate hardgrounds were thus common, along with calcitic ooids, calcitic cements, invertebrate faunas with dominantly calcitic skeletons; the first of several massive batholiths were emplaced in the northern American cordillera beginning in the mid-Jurassic, marking the Nevadan orogeny. Important Jurassic exposures are found in Russia, South America, Japan and the United Kingdom.
In Africa, Early Jurassic strata are distributed in a similar fashion to Late Triassic beds, with more common outcrops in the south and less common fossil beds which are predominated by tracks to the north. As the Jurassic proceeded and more iconic groups of dinosaurs like sauropods and ornithopods proliferated in Africa. Middle Jurassic strata are neither well studied in Africa. Late Jurassic strata are poorly represented apart from the spectacular Tendaguru fauna in Tanzania; the Late Jurassic life of Tendaguru is similar to that found in western North America's Morrison Formation. During the Jurassic period, the primary vertebrates living in the sea were marine reptiles; the latter include ichthyosaurs, which were at the peak of their diversity, plesiosaurs and marine crocodiles of the families Teleosauridae and Metriorhynchidae. Numerous turtles could be found in rivers. In the invertebrate world, several new groups appeared, including rudists (a reef-formi
The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago. The Miocene was named by Charles Lyell; the Miocene is followed by the Pliocene. As the earth went from the Oligocene through the Miocene and into the Pliocene, the climate cooled towards a series of ice ages; the Miocene boundaries are not marked by a single distinct global event but consist rather of regionally defined boundaries between the warmer Oligocene and the cooler Pliocene Epoch. The Apes first evolved and diversified during the early Miocene, becoming widespread in the Old World. By the end of this epoch and the start of the following one, the ancestors of humans had split away from the ancestors of the chimpanzees to follow their own evolutionary path during the final Messinian stage of the Miocene; as in the Oligocene before it, grasslands continued to forests to dwindle in extent. In the seas of the Miocene, kelp forests made their first appearance and soon became one of Earth's most productive ecosystems.
The plants and animals of the Miocene were recognizably modern. Mammals and birds were well-established. Whales and kelp spread; the Miocene is of particular interest to geologists and palaeoclimatologists as major phases of the geology of the Himalaya occurred during the Miocene, affecting monsoonal patterns in Asia, which were interlinked with glacial periods in the northern hemisphere. The Miocene faunal stages from youngest to oldest are named according to the International Commission on Stratigraphy: Regionally, other systems are used, based on characteristic land mammals. Of the modern geologic features, only the land bridge between South America and North America was absent, although South America was approaching the western subduction zone in the Pacific Ocean, causing both the rise of the Andes and a southward extension of the Meso-American peninsula. Mountain building took place in western North America and East Asia. Both continental and marine Miocene deposits are common worldwide with marine outcrops common near modern shorelines.
Well studied continental exposures occur in Argentina. India continued creating dramatic new mountain ranges; the Tethys Seaway continued to shrink and disappeared as Africa collided with Eurasia in the Turkish–Arabian region between 19 and 12 Ma. The subsequent uplift of mountains in the western Mediterranean region and a global fall in sea levels combined to cause a temporary drying up of the Mediterranean Sea near the end of the Miocene; the global trend was towards increasing aridity caused by global cooling reducing the ability of the atmosphere to absorb moisture. Uplift of East Africa in the late Miocene was responsible for the shrinking of tropical rain forests in that region, Australia got drier as it entered a zone of low rainfall in the Late Miocene. During the Oligocene and Early Miocene the coast of northern Brazil, south-central Peru, central Chile and large swathes of inland Patagonia were subject to a marine transgression; the transgressions in the west coast of South America is thought to be caused by a regional phenomenon while the rising central segment of the Andes represents an exception.
While there are numerous registers of Oligo-Miocene transgressions around the world it is doubtful that these correlate. It is thought that the Oligo-Miocene transgression in Patagonia could have temporarily linked the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as inferred from the findings of marine invertebrate fossils of both Atlantic and Pacific affinity in La Cascada Formation. Connection would have occurred through narrow epicontinental seaways that formed channels in a dissected topography; the Antarctic Plate started to subduct beneath South America 14 million years ago in the Miocene, forming the Chile Triple Junction. At first the Antarctic Plate subducted only in the southernmost tip of Patagonia, meaning that the Chile Triple Junction lay near the Strait of Magellan; as the southern part of Nazca Plate and the Chile Rise became consumed by subduction the more northerly regions of the Antarctic Plate begun to subduct beneath Patagonia so that the Chile Triple Junction advanced to the north over time.
The asthenospheric window associated to the triple junction disturbed previous patterns of mantle convection beneath Patagonia inducing an uplift of ca. 1 km that reversed the Oligocene–Miocene transgression. Climates remained moderately warm, although the slow global cooling that led to the Pleistocene glaciations continued. Although a long-term cooling trend was well underway, there is evidence of a warm period during the Miocene when the global climate rivalled that of the Oligocene; the Miocene warming b
The Induan is, in the geologic timescale, the first age of the Early Triassic epoch or the lowest stage of the Lower Triassic series. It spans the time between 251.902 Ma and 251.2 Ma. It is followed by the Olenekian; the Induan is coeval with the regional Feixianguanian stage of China. The Induan stage was introduced into scientific literature by Russian stratigraphers in 1956, who divided the Scythian stage, used by Western stratigraphers into the Induan and Olenekian stages; the Induan stage is named for the Indus region of Pakistan/India. The Russian subdivision of the Lower Triassic slowly replaced the one used in the West; the base of the Induan stage is defined as the place in the fossil record where the conodont species Hindeodus parvus first appears, or at the end of the negative δ18O anomaly after the big extinction event at the Permian-Triassic boundary. The global reference profile of the base of the Induan is situated in China; the top of the Induan stage is at the first appearance of ammonite species Meekoceras gracilitatis.
Though the Induan is an unusually short age at this point in the geologic timescale, its million years' extent still contains five ammonite biozones in the boreal domain and four ammonite biozones in the Tethyan domain. The Induan age followed the mass extinction event at the end of the Permian period. Both global biodiversity and community-level diversity remained low through much of this stage of the Triassic. Much of the world remained lifeless, deserted and dry; the lystrosaurids and the proterosuchids were the only groups of land animals to dominate during the Induan stage. Other animals, such as the ammonites, fishes and the tetrapods remained rare and terrestrial ecosystems did not recover for some 30 million years. Both the seas and much of the freshwater during the Induan were anoxic. Lystrosaurids proterosuchids Brack, P.. Gradstein, F. M.. Kiparisova, Lubov Dmitrievna & Popov, Yurij Nikolaivitch. GeoWhen Database - Induan Lower Triassic timescale at the website of the subcommission for stratigraphic information of the ICS Lower Triassic timescale at the website of Norges Network of offshore records of geology and stratigraphy
Absolute dating is the process of determining an age on a specified chronology in archaeology and geology. Some scientists prefer the terms chronometric or calendar dating, as use of the word "absolute" implies an unwarranted certainty of accuracy. Absolute dating provides a numerical age or range in contrast with relative dating which places events in order without any measure of the age between events. In archaeology, absolute dating is based on the physical and life properties of the materials of artifacts, buildings, or other items that have been modified by humans and by historical associations with materials with known dates. Techniques include tree rings in timbers, radiocarbon dating of wood or bones, trapped-charge dating methods such as thermoluminescence dating of glazed ceramics. Coins found in excavations may have their production date written on them, or there may be written records describing the coin and when it was used, allowing the site to be associated with a particular calendar year.
In historical geology, the primary methods of absolute dating involve using the radioactive decay of elements trapped in rocks or minerals, including isotope systems from young to systems such as uranium–lead dating that allow acquisition of absolute ages for some of the oldest rocks on earth. Radiometric dating is based on the known and constant rate of decay of radioactive isotopes into their radiogenic daughter isotopes. Particular isotopes are suitable for different applications due to the types of atoms present in the mineral or other material and its approximate age. For example, techniques based on isotopes with half lives in the thousands of years, such as carbon-14, cannot be used to date materials that have ages on the order of billions of years, as the detectable amounts of the radioactive atoms and their decayed daughter isotopes will be too small to measure within the uncertainty of the instruments. One of the most used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 dating, used to date organic remains.
This is a radiometric technique. Cosmic radiation entering the earth’s atmosphere produces carbon-14, plants take in carbon-14 as they fix carbon dioxide. Carbon-14 moves up the food chain as predators eat other animals. With death, the uptake of carbon-14 stops, it takes 5,730 years for half the carbon-14 to change to nitrogen. After another 5,730 years only one-quarter of the original carbon-14 will remain. After yet another 5,730 years only one-eighth will be left. By measuring the carbon-14 in organic material, scientists can determine the date of death of the organic matter in an artifact or ecofact; the short half-life of carbon-14, 5,730 years, makes dating reliable only up to about 50,000 years. The technique cannot pinpoint the date of an archeological site better than historic records, but is effective for precise dates when calibrated with other dating techniques such as tree-ring dating. An additional problem with carbon-14 dates from archeological sites is known as the "old wood" problem.
It is possible in dry, desert climates, for organic materials such as from dead trees to remain in their natural state for hundreds of years before people use them as firewood or building materials, after which they become part of the archaeological record. Thus dating that particular tree does not indicate when the fire burned or the structure was built. For this reason, many archaeologists prefer to use samples from short-lived plants for radiocarbon dating; the development of accelerator mass spectrometry dating, which allows a date to be obtained from a small sample, has been useful in this regard. Other radiometric dating techniques are available for earlier periods. One of the most used is potassium–argon dating. Potassium-40 is a radioactive isotope of potassium that decays into argon-40; the half-life of potassium-40 is 1.3 billion years, far longer than that of carbon-14, allowing much older samples to be dated. Potassium is common in rocks and minerals, allowing many samples of geochronological or archeological interest to be dated.
Argon, a noble gas, is not incorporated into such samples except when produced in situ through radioactive decay. The date measured reveals the last time that the object was heated past the closure temperature at which the trapped argon can escape the lattice. K–Ar dating was used to calibrate the geomagnetic polarity time scale. Thermoluminescence testing dates items to the last time they were heated; this technique is based on the principle. This process frees electrons within minerals. Heating an item to 500 degrees Celsius or higher releases the trapped electrons, producing light; this light can be measured to determine the last time. Radiation levels do not remain constant over time. Fluctuating levels can skew results – for example, if an item went through several high radiation eras, thermoluminescence will return an older date for the item. Many factors can spoil the sample before testing as well, exposing the sample to heat or direct light may cause some of the electrons to dissipate, causing the item to date younger.
Because of these and other factors, Thermoluminescence is at the most about 15% accurate. It cannot be used to date a site on its own. However, it can be used to confirm the antiquity of an item. Optically stimulated luminescence dating constrains the time at which sediment was last exposed to light. During sediment transport, exposure to s