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WikiProject Geology / Periods  (Rated B-class, High-importance)
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  • Update : Climate section for Ediacaran including Gaskiers glaciation
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Is it called Ediacaran (-ran) or Ediacarian (-rian) ?

Google has 1590 pages with `ediacaran' vs. only 228 with `ediacarian'. Does anybody know for sure the correct name ?

I suppose it depends on how you think the Ediacara/Ediacaria Hills are spelled. Sort of like Chickamauga vs Chikamauga. Ediacar(i)a is not an English word, so there may be no correct english spelling. Without the "i" seems to be the more common spelling. Note that many references to 'Ediacaria' are probably to a specific fossil genus with that spelling, not to the hills/fauna. I don't have any problem with using the more common spelling -- DJK.

In the decades of debate leading up to the formalization of Ediacaran Period, both "Ediacaran" and "Ediacarian" were proposed and used by different authors. In the end "Ediacaran" won and has been official since 2004. --Zamphuor 11:36, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for this enriching site.-- 13:43, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Ediacaran name now appears to be "official". -- Mpt 06:07, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

I've edited the article to reflect this, as also described on this page:

The last National Geographic had a little sidebar about the Ediacaran period being officially expanded. Anyone know about this?


I have no idea what's happened to the code... my hope is that someone will see this [who is smarter than I] and maybe try to fix it, 'cause I sure know I can't :3 --Scareth (talk) 23:38, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Vendian versus Ediacaran[edit]

M.A. Fedonkin, B.S. Sokolov, M.A. Semikhatov, N.M.Chumakov (2007). "Vendian versus Ediacaran: priorities, contents, prospectives." In: "The Rise and Fall of the Vendian (Ediacaran) Biota. Origin of the Modern Biosphere. Transactions of the International Conference on the IGCP Project 493, August 20-31, 2007, Moscow." Moscow: GEOS

It was premature to approve the Ediacaran as a new Geological System and Period. Formally the Ediacaran does not fit to any of the stratigraphic categories recommended by the International Stratigraphic Guide in terms of the stratigraphic nomenclature. The Ediacaran has no internal structure of the subordinate unites. Its upper boundary (defined paleoichnologically) is blurred or, rather, uncertain. The identification and correlation of the Ediacaran lower boundary beyond its GCCP can not be realized because of absence of the time-relevant characters in the Nuccaleena cap carbonates. The approval Ediacaran puts the Proterozoic stratigraphy in the state of crisis that directly affects many areas of activity in Earth sciences and applied geology (from the stratigraphy and geological mapping to the paleotectonic and paleogeographic reconstructions).

See also:


Should we add a fact that oldest "higher" fungi have appeared during that period of time? --Artman40 (talk) 09:35, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Late Vendian glaciation[edit]

Chumakov, N. M. (August 2009). "The Baykonurian glaciohorizon of the Late Vendian". Stratigraphy and Geological Correlation. 17 (4): 373–381. doi:10.1134/S0869593809040029. 

Age of the base of the Ediacaran[edit]

The lower boundary GSSP of the Ediacaran is at the base of the cap carbonate (Nuccaleena Formation), immediately above the Elatina diamictite in the Australia. There is a widely accepted view that the Elatina Formation and overlying Nuccaleena Formation (the 'cap carbonate') correlates with the 635.5±1.2 Ma Ghaub Formation in Namibia and a 635.2±0.6 Ma ash bed within the cap dolostone above the Nantuo Tillite in China. However, dating of glacial successions in King Island and Tasmania in Australia suggests an alternative age of the Elatina glaciation (and consequently the base of the Ediacaran) is ~580 Ma, about the same age as the Gaskiers glaciation.

Aleksey (Alnagov (talk) 11:12, 2 September 2009 (UTC))

David Attenborough TV programme[edit]

My understanding of the Ediacaran has been that given in this article, of a pre-Cambrian form of life which has no clear relation to the Cambrian, but I have just watched David Attenborough's TV programme First Life which gives a different picture. He describes Charnia and the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve fossils as pre-Ediacaran, the first multi-cellular life, but without a body plan and no apparent successors, and the Ediacaran as succeeding with the first body plan (head, body and rear) and leading on to the Cambrian. I cannot find any sources for this view. Even the website for Mistaken Point at describes it as Ediacaran. Does anyone know of sources?

A separate point is that I find the Wikipedia article unsatisfactory as a general article on an important subject. Much of it is incomprensible for the general reader, with unexplained technical terms, or ones with Wikilinks in red, showing that not even Wikipedia has yet got round to explaining them. Dudley Miles (talk) 22:44, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I get the impression that a lot of this information is on the bleeding edge of research; I just read an article all about how oxygenation was found 300m to 400m earlier than was suspected (oct 2013). Also it seems that researchers keep changing/disagreeing on names of eras/periods. Even the K-T extinction has been renamed because the word 'tertiary' is no longer in use. OsamaBinLogin (talk) 17:46, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Australia's First Four Billion Years[edit]

There was a great series, I think 4 episodes, on PBS in the US in mid-2013, named as above. Should be listed in the last section. OsamaBinLogin (talk) 17:46, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Doubt about Absolute Dating[edit]

The section claims that "No dating has been possible at the type section of the Ediacaran Period in South Australia." Not being an expert, I will ignore whatever is meant by "type section" and assume that if that passage had actually been written for a general audience it would claim that "The rocks belonging to the Ediacaran period in South Austalia have not been possible to date." I have three problems with this. First: "not possible" is a very strong claim and requires a specific authoratative reference. Second: as a chemist (with no expertise in this area) I have real doubts that there are no trace elements present in the rock which would allow dating. I am referring to currently established techniques. I strongly suspect that it IS possible using current methods to date samples (whether the work has been done is a different question). Third: a brief citation search led me to a 2015 paper by Rooney, et. al. where the abstract says:"we provide the first direct radiometric age constraint for the termination of the Marinoan glaciation in Laurentia with an age of 632.3 ± 5.9 Ma ..., which is identical, within uncertainty, to U-Pb zircon ages from China, Australia, and Namibia." This clearly implies that Australian samples from the period in question HAVE been dated. (talk) 20:06, 2 September 2015 (UTC)