Template talk:Geologic time scale

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WikiProject Geology (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon Template:Geologic time scale is part of WikiProject Geology, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use geology resource. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit this article, or visit the project page for more information.
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WikiProject Time (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Time, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Time on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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I think we should try to synchronize this large time scale template with the periods contained in the footer templates, such as Template:Carboniferous Footer... RingtailedFoxTalkContribs 03:27, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

New setup[edit]

There have been some rather sweeping changes since before January 18. The accuracy of this template seems have been compromised with it. ~ UBeR (talk) 03:45, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


The colors in the table seem to be taken from the USGS standard, not from the ICS. I personally like the USGS colors, but they are only for large scale geologic maps in the U.S. They are not the international standard.

USGS: Divisions of Geologic Time—Major Chronostratigraphic and Geochronologic Units - PDF file
ICS: CMYK and RGB color codes for Geologic Time Scale 2008 - JPG image, the chart is here - PDF file

- Parsa (talk) 01:54, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

There have been a number of discussions of this. If there's a consensus to change it to ICS, I'd be for it, and willing to help. Awickert (talk) 03:32, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
However, the ICS can not be used here, because text and links are no longer readable. πϵρήλιο 23:29, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
There is a discussion on this here Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geology#Template color changes. You may vote either side then whatever wins ALL geologic timescales templates change including this template . (talk) 14:16 19 March 2013 (UTC) 10:16am 3/19/2013 EDT

Early Cambrian[edit]

There is a mess-up on the chart in the Early Cambrian section. The early is located in the Supereon when it shouldn't be there. I am not even going to attempt fixing it beacause I am not good at the table making stuff. Can someone fix this?

The Danian is messed up too. Andrew Colvin | Talk 05:59, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Fixed! Thanks~ Andrew Colvin | Talk 03:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)


According to these two sources, we need a few changes to the table. However, I am not sure why or what the difference is between USGS and GSA?

A. Z. Colvin • Talk 03:34, 31 August 2010 (UTC)


Why did they seperate the Carboniferous period into two???

put comment here:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Talker26 (talk) 15:12, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Because it is essentially two parts. According to the Geological Society of America and the United States Geological Survey, the carboniferous is a period broken into two parts (epochs) instead of three epochs (early, middle, and late). These ones just happened to be named. The GSA interprets it as being “part” of the period while the USGS considers it as a separate epoch. Either way, the results are the same. For simplicity, the diagram separates it instead of writing that it has two parts. Hope that helps! A. Z. Colvin • Talk 05:01, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Update to ICS August 2012[edit]

The template needs to be updated to reflect the newly issued revised chronostratigraphic chart from the ICS - here. Mikenorton (talk) 17:13, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

In the absence of any other response on this, I've made a start. I am having to make some executive decisions on how this gets rearranged as I go. I've got to the end of the Mesozoic, and will return sometime later this week to finish off. If people could hold off on making more changes til I've got the actual numbers in, that would probably be sensible. However, after that, some outstanding issues will remain:
1. The new scale uses Upper/Middle/Lower in place of Late/Middle/Early. I've made the changes in the template, but these still link through to the time not sectional names.
2. There's a lot - like, A LOT - of uses of these numbers elsewhere (for a start, all the individual stage/class/age etc name pages). I've clearly made no effort to do this yet.
3. Some usages have changed, e.g., Arenig is now Floian. Also some substantial changes in the Cambrian. Usage elsewhere needs changing to reflect this.
4. Most obvious target for updates - List of Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points.
5. I need to remember to add a ref somewhere to the fact these came from the new timescale.
DanHobley (talk) 03:43, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, though somebody needs to update all the links outward from this page too. DanHobley (talk) 16:28, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks very much Dan - I try not to mess with templates. Mikenorton (talk) 19:10, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Table Options[edit]

How can you get this template to become sortable and have it autocollapse ?!?!?! please put comment here and do what it says and I say 1 topic above the ' Table Columns ' topic. (talk) 21:37 19 February 2013 (UTC) 16:37 02/19/2013 EST.

Which column do you think would be useful to be sortable? Could you try to rephrase your question a bit for clarity? --Tobias1984 (talk) 06:15, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Every single column except major events. The rowspans might have to go away. 1 Benefit is that you can view Supereon, Eon, Era, Period, Epoch, and Age in ABC order. Also can you guys move the "Start million years ago" section to the side between "age" and "major events". Add 0s before it so 4567 Hadean then 0000.0117 Holocene . Remove those C's out of there along with those +-=0.5 +-=1.2 . Move them to a separate column called "Age Notes" or at the end of age columns. Here are 3 examples 0065.5 C +-=0.7 , 0112.4 C ,and 0247 +-=0.7 . Also can you guys move the "Start million years ago" section to the side between "age" and "major events". Add 0s before it so 4567 Hadean then 0000.0117 Holocene . Remove those C's out of there along with those +-=0.5 +-=1.2 . Move them to a separate column called "Age Notes" or at the end of age columns. Here are 3 examples 0065.5 C +-=0.7 , 0112.4 C ,and 0247 +-=0.7 . (talk) 04:25 10 March 2013 (UTC) 11:25pm 03/10/2013 EST.

I think the easiest way to do this is signing up to Wikipedia. Then you could make a separate page where you can experiment with the table. I'm not sure that the formatting your proposing would be useful for this particular template. But if you sign up, I can help you to make that table on a separate page. --Tobias1984 (talk) 08:29, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I already changed thats C's in the template at the start million years ago column. That edit is the latest revision on this template as of 8PM EDT. (talk) 00:21 11 March 2013 (UTC) 8:21pm 03/10/2013 EDT.


I added stage 8 in parentheses on the no faunal stages defined . So it will no longer be a stage without a name on this template. Like in the Cambrian era unnamed stages are named in stage numbers. (talk) 01:54 23 February 2013 (UTC) 20:54 02/22/2013 EST.

Precambrian Dates[edit]

Hi - thanks for your efforts to improve the table, especially the formatting. However, I notice you've updated a bunch of the dates in the table. Could you let us know where these are coming from? All the data that was in there was drawn direct from the Geologic Time Scale 2013, so I'm concerned we have some internal inconsistencies or inaccuracies. Please supply some solid referencing. Thanks! DanHobley (talk) 05:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Before I made this template sortable the start of the Eoarchean is exactly 4 billion years ago. Start dates for eras in the Hadean is taken from Geological history template. So Cryptic starts 4567mya, Basin Groups 4.5bya, Nectarian 4.3bya, and Early Imbrian 4.1bya. Now to make this template become sortable efficiently The rowspan and major events things might need to go away. (talk) 04:15 10 March 2013 (UTC) 11:15 03/09/2013 EST.

The title has been renamed to Precambrian dates. We are talking about Precambrian dates here (talk) 12:40 10 March 2013 (UTC) 08:40am 03/09/2013 EDT.
Hi again. Please don't remove the rowspans from this table yet - I think you'll reduce readability. Sandboxing it (as Tobias was saying above) to try it out would probably be the way to go. Perhaps the answer would be to break the big table into smaller ones?
Also, as a minor formatting thing, I understand that we need to have the number first in the age column to allow sorting (i.e., "c. 4567" is not good), but the new format "4567 c." is pretty confusing. I think we should be replacing "c." with "approx.". Or perhaps a code symbol. Otherwise, this is looking nice. DanHobley (talk) 18:16, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Hello again. Breaking the table into smaller ones would no longer be sortable ability. Maybe someone or a user can request or make a template sandbox like Template:Period color has a sandbox called Template:Period color/sandbox. (talk) 22:18 29 March 2013 (UTC) 06:18pm 03/29/2013 EDT.


The template says:

Following the Little Ice Age, Atmospheric CO2 levels, primarily as a result of reduced oceanic CO2 solubility where the ocean has turned from a CO2 sink to a CO2 source with the increasing temperature, rise from around 280 parts per million volume (ppmv) to the current level of 390 ppmv.

With a reference to various wikipedia pages, including Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere

The claim that the increse in CO2 after the little ice age is due to the oceans changing from a sink to a source does not appear to be supported by the references. HughesJohn (talk) 11:35, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Ok, the unsupported claims were made by Special:Contributions/ on 26 May 2013‎. These changes are the only ones from that address. I've removed them. HughesJohn (talk) 13:26, 6 August 2013 (UTC)