digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Chronostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy that studies the age of rock strata in relation to time.

The ultimate aim of chronostratigraphy is to arrange the sequence of deposition and the time of deposition of all rocks within a geological region, and eventually, the entire geologic record of the Earth.

The standard stratigraphic nomenclature is a chronostratigraphic system based on palaeontological intervals of time defined by recognised fossil assemblages (biostratigraphy). The aim of chronostratigraphy is to give a meaningful age date to these fossil assemblage intervals and interfaces.[citation needed]


Chronostratigraphy relies heavily upon isotope geology and geochronology to derive hard dating of known and well defined rock units which contain the specific fossil assemblages defined by the stratigraphic system. As it is practically very difficult to isotopically date most fossils and sedimentary rocks directly, inferences must be made in order to arrive at an age date which reflects the beginning of the interval.

The methodology used is derived from the law of superposition and the principles of cross-cutting relationships.

Because igneous rocks occur at specific intervals in time and are essentially instantaneous on a geologic time scale, and because they contain mineral assemblages which may be dated more accurately and precisely by isotopic methods, the construction of a chronostratigraphic column relies heavily upon intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks.

Metamorphism, often associated with faulting, may also be used to bracket depositional intervals in a chronostratigraphic column. Metamorphic rocks can occasionally be dated, and this may give some limits to the age at which a bed could have been laid down. For example, if a bed containing graptolites overlies crystalline basement at some point, dating the crystalline basement will give a maximum age of that fossil assemblage.

This process requires a considerable degree of effort and checking of field relationships and age dates. For instance, there may be many millions of years between a bed being laid down and an intrusive rock cutting it; the estimate of age must necessarily be between the oldest cross-cutting intrusive rock in the fossil assemblage and the youngest rock upon which the fossil assemblage rests.


Chronostratigraphic units, with examples:[1]

Differences between chronostratigraphy and geochronology[edit]

It is important not to confuse geochronologic and chronostratigraphic units.[2] Chronostratigraphic units are geological material, so it is correct to say that fossils of the species Tyrannosaurus rex have been found in the Upper Cretaceous Series.[3] Geochronological units are periods of time and take the same name as standard stratigraphic units but replacing the terms upper/lower with late/early. Thus it is also correct to say that Tyrannosaurus rex lived during the Late Cretaceous Epoch.[4]

Chronostratigraphy is an important branch of stratigraphy because the age correlations derived are crucial to drawing accurate cross sections of the spatial organization of rocks and to preparing accurate paleogeographic reconstructions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Juia A. Jackson, ed. (1997). Glossary of Geology (4th ed.). Alexandria, VI: American Geological Institute. ISBN 0-922152-34-9. 
  2. ^ Fastovsly, David E.; Weishampel, David B. (1996). The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN 0-521-44496-9. 
  3. ^ Smith, J. B.; Lamanna, M.C.; Lacovara, K.J.; Dodson, P. Jr.; Poole, J.C.; Giegengack, R. (1 June 2001). "A Giant Sauropod Dinosaur from an Upper Cretaceous Mangrove Deposit in Egypt". Science 292 (5522): 1704–1706. doi:10.1126/science.1060561. ISSN 1095-9203. PMID 11387472. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  4. ^ International Commission on Stratigraphy. "Chronostratigraphic Units." International Stratigraphic Guide. Accessed 14-DEC-2009.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronostratigraphy — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
51 videos foundNext > 

Chrono and Lithostratigraphy

Yikes! I just watched this after a couple of years - and the audio track lags the video! I don't have the original video handy to reload! This must have happ...

Tutorial: Chrono-stratigraphy in OpendTect SSIS

Tutorial about how to calculate chrono-stratigraphy in OpendTect SSIS. Presented by dGB's Paul de Groot.

How to Pronounce Chronostratigraphy

Learn how to say Chronostratigraphy correctly with EmmaSaying's "how do you pronounce" free tutorials. @---@---@---@---@---@---@---@---@---@---@---@---@---@ ...

Kuraĝigo de la historio de la tero. sxangxigxantaj platoj kaj historio de tektoniko

Kuraĝigo de la historio de la tero. sxangxigxantaj platoj kaj historio de tektoniko Ludo: http://www.purposegames.com/game/geol ... kuraĝigo de la historio d...

2C2b Post- Paleozoic Radiolaria

Post- Paleozoic radiolarian ranges; uses: determining paleotemperatures and zones, paleocurrents and gyres, water depths (paleogeography) Primary aim: correl...

Tutorial: SSIS stratal slicing in OpendTect 3.3

Tutorial about how stratal slicing and the auto modeling driving chrono-stratigraphy options in SSIS can be used to study stratigraphic details in 3D data. P...

Dr. David Eberth - Speaker Series 2011

Royal Tyrrell Museum Speaker Series 2011 Dr. David Eberth, Royal Tyrrell Museum A Revised Chronostratigraphy for the Oldman, Dinosaur Park and Bearpaw format...

Microfossils Part 2A2-2 Foram Use.mov

How foraminifera serve science :(1) Detailed chronostratigraphy (2) Existing and paleo- environments (3) Paleoclimatology (4) Paleogeography (5) Existing and...

Phoebe Sings The Blues.AVI

My dog Phoebe sings the blues like a pro! Big finish at 1:17.

How to Pronounce Stage

Learn how to say Stage correctly with EmmaSaying's "how do you pronounce" free tutorials. Definition of stage (oxford dictionary): noun 1a point, period, or ...

51 videos foundNext > 

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Chronostratigraphy" right now.


Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Chronostratigraphy

You can talk about Chronostratigraphy with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!