Calabrian (stage)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Subdivisions of the Quaternary System
System Series Stage Age (Ma)
Quaternary Holocene 0–0.0117
Pleistocene Tarantian 0.0117–0.126
Ionian 0.126–0.781
Calabrian 0.781–1.806
Gelasian 1.806–2.588
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian older
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.

Calabrian is a subdivision of the Pleistocene Epoch of the Geologic time scale. ~1.8 Ma.—781,000 years ago ± 5,000 years, a period of ~1.019 million years.

The end of the stage is defined by the last magnetic pole reversal (781 ± 5 Ka) and plunge into an ice age and global drying possibly colder and drier than the late Miocene (Messinian) through early Pliocene (Zanclean) cold period.[1] Originally the Calabrian was a European faunal stage primarily based on mollusk fossils. It has become the second geologic age in the Early Pleistocene. Many of the mammalian faunal assemblages of the Early Pleistocene start in the Gelasian. For example, the Platygonus and other Blancan fauna appear first in the Gelasian.

History of the definition of the Calabrian[edit]

Because sea shells are much more abundant as fossils, Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century geo-scientists used the plentiful and well-differentiatable Mollusca (mollusks) and Brachiopods to identify stratigraphic boundaries. Thus the Calabrian was originally defined as an assemblage of mollusk fossils, most brachiopods being extinct by then. Efforts were then made to find the best representation of that assemblage in a stratigraphic section. By 1948 scientists used the initial appearance of cool-water (northern) invertebrate faunas in Mediterranean marine sediments as the beginning marker for the Calabrian. The 18th International Geological Congress in London (1948) placed the base of the Pleistocene at the base of the marine strata of the Calabrian Faunal Stage and denominated a type section in southern Italy. However, it was discovered that the original type section was discontinuous at that point and that the base of the Calabrian Stage as defined by fauna assemblages extended to earlier levels within the Pleistocene. A new type section was chosen, several miles from the original one, at Vrica, 4 km south of Crotone in Calabria, southern Italy. Analysis of strontium and oxygen isotopes as well as of planktonic foraminifera has confirmed the viability of the current type section. The 27th International Geological Congress in Moscow in 1984 formally ratified the type section. The starting date was originally thought to be about 1.65 million years ago, but has been recalculated as 1.806 Mya.[2]

Present formal definition[edit]

The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point, GSSP, for the former[3] start of the Pleistocene is in a reference section at Vrica, 4 km south of Crotone in Calabria, Southern Italy, a location whose exact dating has recently been confirmed by analysis of strontium and oxygen isotopes as well as by planktonic foraminifera.[4]

The beginning of the Calabrian hence is defined as: Just above top of magnetic polarity chronozone C2n (Olduvai) and the extinction level of calcareous nannofossil Discoaster brouweri (base Zone CN13). Above the boundary are the lowest occurrence of calcareous nannofossil medium Gephyrocapsa spp. and the extinction level of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides extremus.[2]

The end of the Calabrian is defined as the Brunhes–Matuyama magnetic reversal event.[4][5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A chronology of Pliocene sea-level fluctuations, U.S. Atlantic Coastal Plain: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 10, p. 163–174.
  2. ^ a b "GeoWhen Database: Early Pleistocene". 2004. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. 
  3. ^ In 2009 the Gelasian was included within the Pleistocene, making the Calabrian the second stage in the Pleistocene. Gibbard, Philip L.; Head, Martin J.; Walker, Michael J. C. (2009). "Formal ratification of the Quaternary System/Period and the Pleistocene Series/Epoch with a base at 2.58 Ma". Journal of Quaternary Science 25 (2): 96. doi:10.1002/jqs.1338.  abstract
  4. ^ a b Lourens, L., Hilgen, F., Shackleton, N.J., Laskar, J., Wilson, D., (2004) “The Neogene Period”. In: Gradstein, F., Ogg, J., Smith, A.G. (Eds.), Geologic Time Scale Cambridge University Press, Cambridge;
  5. ^ Cita, Maria Bianca, et al. (2008). "The Calabrian stage redefined". Episodes 31 (4): 408–419. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. 

References[edit]

Quaternary
Pleistocene Holocene
Early | Middle | Late Preboreal | Boreal |
Atlantic | Subboreal | Subatlantic

Coordinates: 39°02′19″N 17°08′06″E / 39.03861°N 17.13500°E / 39.03861; 17.13500