The Carboniferous System. Use of the new official names for the subsystems, series, and stages

Authors

  • P.H. HECKEL Chair of SCCS. Department of Geoscience. University of IowaIowa City, IA 52242.
  • G. CLAYTON Vice Chair of SCCS. Department of Geology. Trinity College DublinDublin 2, Ireland.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/105.000000354

Keywords:

Carboniferous, Chronostratigraphy, Stages, Series, Subsystem, System

Abstract

As a result of votes by the Subcommission on Carboniferous Stratigraphy [SCCS] that were ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy [ICS] and the International Union of Geological Sciences [IUGS] over the period 1999-2004, the official subdivision of the Carboniferous System has been substantially modified. For subsystems, the terms Mississippian and Pennsylvanian should be used in all regions of the world to replace the more ambiguous and more awkward terms Lower and Upper Carboniferous. Regional geographic names for series and stages may continue to be used in those regions in which they developed, specifically in Western Europe, the USA, and China. However, their global equivalents should be denoted equally, particularly as they become better correlated, in order to facilitate global correlation in future work. The SCCS also voted to standardize the scale of all regional units termed stages at rough equivalency with the global stages now recognized in the Carboniferous (which are similar in scale to those in the adjacent Devonian and Permian Systems). Therefore, the up to 26 subdivisions of the Tournaisian, Visean, Namurian, Westphalian and Stephanian of the regional western European classification should now be ranked and termed only as substages.

References

Heckel, P.H. (ed.), 2001. Stratigraphy and biostratigraphy of the Mississippian Subsystem (Carbonifeorus System) in its type region, the Mississippi River valley of Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa: IUGS Subcommission on Carboniferous Stratigraphy Guidebook for Field Conference, September 8-13, 2001, 108 pp. Updated in 2005 as Illinois State Geological Survey Guidebook 34, 105 pp.

Heckel, P.H., 2003. Updated cyclothem constraints on radiometric dating of the Pennsylvanian succession in North America and its correlation with dates from Europe. Newsletter on Carboniferous Stratigraphy, 21, 12-20.

Metcalfe, I., 2000. Secretary/Editor’s Report 1999-2000. Newsletter on Carboniferous Stratigraphy, 18, 2-3.

Villa, E., Task Group, 2004. Progress on the search for a fossil

event marker close to the Moscovian-Kasimovian boundary. Newsletter on Carboniferous Stratigraphy, 22, 14-16.

Wang Xiang-dong, Jin Yu-gan, 2003. Carboniferous biostratigraphy of China. Biostratigraphy of China. Beijing Science Press, 281-330.

Work, D.M., 2004. Secretary/Editor’s Report 2003-2004. Newsletter on Carboniferous Stratigraphy, 22, 4-5.

Downloads

Published

2006-01-12

Issue

Section

Articles