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If anyone knows where the link to Arithmetic should go to, feel free to fix it. There does not currently appear to be a general Wikipedia article on arithmetic. Probably there is one under a synonym, but I can't think what it might be.

Perhaps the arithmetic version of quaternary might do better separate from the era? Whall we vote on disambiguation? Emperorbma

Status of the Quaternary[edit]

The exclusion of the Quaternary as a formal unit from the 'International Stratigraphic Chart' was premature and in fact an illegal action. The status of the Quaternary was subjected to a moratorium that had not been ended at the time the new chart was published (It still has not been ended).
So, the Quaternary is a unit that is not outdated at all, on the contrary.
Steps have been taken now to formalize 'Quaternary' as a full formal chronostratigraphic unit (as a system) that is underlain by the Neogene. So, the Neogene does NOT include the Quaternary. The base of the Quaternary should be the base of the Gelasian, that is assigned at its GSSP. The Gelasian will be included in the Pleistocene.
In this proposal the Cenozoic is subdivided into the Paleogene, the Neogene, and the Quaternary (that is in accordance with common use in many countries). The Quaternary includes the Pleistocene and the Holocene. The subdivision of the Pleistocene will be: Gelasian, Calabrian, Ionian and a 'Stage 4'. The latter has still to be defined. This subdivision is separate from the glacial/interglacial subdivision of the Quaternary.

I propose not to adjust wiki pages relating to Quaternary according to the above information because this still has to be ratified by IUGS (believed to be a formality). However, it seems quite sensible to me to delete or edit remarks accordingly (on all pages) that suggest that Quaternary should be 'outdated' (or something alike), which is definitely not true considering the 'illegal' status of the 'International Stratigraphic Chart'.--Tom Meijer 13:56, 9 June 2007 (UTC)


As far as I know (but I can be mistaken) the term 'Anthropocene' was proposed by Russian geologists and was never used by others. --Tom Meijer (talk) 22:25, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

This is not true as noted in the Wikepedia article on the Anthropocene. Go look at:

Zalasiewicz, Jan, and others, 2008, Are we now living in the Anthropocene?. GSA Today. vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 4-8. Geological Society of America. doi:10.1130/GSAT01802A.1

This article states that Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize–winning chemist, proposed, because of the global environmental effects of increased human population and economic development, proposed that we had left the Holocene and had entered a new Epoch, which he called the Anthropocene. Paul H. (talk) 03:37, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


In the Quaternary as it is described on the page, the Gelasian can't be a part of it. On the present page the Quaternary has a lower boundary at 1.8 Ma. This is where the Gelasian ends. So, in the present definition that is presented on this page, the Gelasian is in the Pliocene (Tertiary or Neogene). However, it should be noted that British geologists, as most other European (and many other) geologists consider the date of 2.6 Ma as the lower boundary of the Quaternary. They never accepted the error that was made in the Pleistocene GSSP where the boundary was placed at a level that was not intended by the decision of the 1948 International Geological Congress. In the British/Dutch 'tradition' the Gelasian, that was btw introduced very late in Italy (Note: rather well defined and used stages already existed long before this introduction in the North Sea Basin!) should be included in the Quaternary as a stage in the Lower or Early Pleistocene. In the not accepted (by the Quaternary community represented by INQUA) concept with the lower boundary at 1.8, the inclusion of the Gelasian in the Quaternary is not correct.--Tom Meijer (talk) 22:25, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Fix the charts[edit]

There are two charts on the bottom of this article and both can't be correct. A "Quaternary Footer" and a "Phanerozoic eon." The top chart has the Quaternary in the Neogene period and the bottom chart has it after the Neogene period. Both can't be correct. I understand there is some controversy over where the Quaternary belongs but you can't confuse readers by having two contradictory charts can you? I have no opinion on which way it should be on this site as geology is just a hobby for me but could someone either remove a chart, fix a chart, make another chart to compare the two visions with an explanation on why, or something better I can't think of? It seems quite poor the way it is now. Fyunck(click) (talk) 10:06, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

A decision[edit]

The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) has decided by vote to set the lower boundary of both the Quaternary System and the Pleistocene Series to the magnetic polarity reversal of Gauss/Matuyama (2.588 ma). The ballot was over 80% in favour of this decision. The Gelasian moves from the Pliocene and Neogene to the Quaternary and will be the lower part of the Early Pleistocene (the upper part of the Early Pleistocene being the Calabrian). The base of the Quaternary is now defined at the Gelasian GSSP. This decision will still have to be ratified by IUGS but no obstacles are expected. --Tom Meijer (talk) 14:03, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Redefinition and base Quaternary and Pleistocene[edit]

Dear Reader, I received the following message from a colleague. I suggest (if still necessary) the relevant pages should be modified accordingly:

Dear Quaternary colleague,

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS ) has recently ratified to redefine the base of the Quaternary and Pleistocene at 2.6 Ma (see below). The end of a long lasting battle?


The IUGS Executive Committee has ratified a request from the IUGS International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) regarding the definition of the base of Quaternary System/Period (and top of the Neogene System/Period), and redefinition of the base of the Pleistocene Series/Epoch (and top of the Pliocene Series/Epoch). The ICS submitted for IUGS ratification its recommendation that:

1) the base of the Pleistocene Series/Epoch be lowered such that the Pleistocene includes the Gelasian Stage/Age and its base is defined by the Monte San Nicola GSSP, which also defines the base of the Gelasian;

2) the base of the Quaternary System/Period, and thus the Neogene-Quaternary boundary, be formally defined by the Monte San Nicola GSSP and thus be coincident with the bases of the Pleistocene and Gelasian; and

3) with these definitions, the Gelasian Stage/Age be transferred from the Pliocene Series/Epoch to the Pleistocene.

More information on the subject can be found on our website: or on Kind regards,

JS On behalf of INQUA-Netherlands

Tom Meijer (talk) 08:39, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

... 130710 Considering the third era within the Phanerozoic eon, the Cenezoic era covers a span of 65 million yrs being divided into two periods (Paleogene and Neogene) it seems strange now that from that last Neogene period that spaned 23 million years you designate this "quaternary" period that spans aprox 2 million years.

That Neogene period was divided into four epochs (Miocene [18m yrs], Pliocene [4m yrs] and Pleistocene [2 million yrs] and Holocene [<11k yrs]). By misrepresenting the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs as an additional "quaternary period" of the Cenezoic era seems just an attempt to elevate it into importance.

The periods of that Cenezoic era were 42 and 23 million year spans, separating the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs and elevating them into a quaternary PERIOD spanning aprox 2 million years is facetious.

The Pleistocene epoch used to go 1.8m to aprox 11k yrs ago, then the Holocene epoch picked up with the Mesolithic and Neolithic ages down through copper, iron and modern ages. The Paleogene period was tertiary (Palaeocene, Eocene, Oligocene) and the Neogene period quartenary (Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Holocene.) Bhug (talk) 03:48, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Link to Calabash[edit]

Given that there is a useful and substantial article on the Calaboose, might the wiki link in the 'subdivisions table be changed to point in that direction rather than to Lower Pleistocene as it currently does? I would do it myself though I don't know how to edit it. The table is shared by many Quaternary-related articles of course. cheers Impersonal (talk) 20:22, 21 November 2010 (CUT)

Earth in the Quaternary[edit]

Currently this section is not so much about the earth as about Europe and North America. If I had access to the relevant material and indeed was familiar enough with the subject, I would broaden it out - perhaps there are Quaternary experts out there who are more familiar with the evolution of other parts of the world during this period and could contribute? cheers Geopersona (talk) 06:16, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Page Layout[edit]

I would like to start working on getting this section up to standards with the other epoch time periods. Any subjection would be greatly appreciated. Things like what you want to see in the section or what topics to cover. Thanks Denton Diederich (talk) 22:00, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

The Quaternary Period[edit]

We currently live in the Quaternary period in the Cenozoic Era. The Cenozoic Era is the 3rd era in the entire universe. The Quaternary period is when to modern humans came along. You can learn more about this Period at the following site: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 8 October 2012 (UTC)