A case for formalizing subseries (subepochs) of the Cenozoic Era

Martin J. Head*, Marie-Pierre Aubry, Mike Walker, Kenneth G. Miller, Brian R. Pratt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)


Subseries/subepochs (e.g., Lower/Early Eocene, Upper/Late Pleistocene) have yet to be formally defined despite their wide use in the Cenozoic literature. This has led to concerns about the stability of their definition and uncertainty over their status that has led to inconsistencies in capitalization. To address these issues, we propose for the Cenozoic that subseries/subepochs be defined formally by reference to Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points and ratified in the same way as for other formal chronostratigraphic units. Formalization of subseries/subepochs for the Cenozoic will respect their deep historical roots, recognise their chronostratigraphic nature, stabilize their definition, ensure consistency in application, embrace their de-facto use as formal terms within the Paleogene, Neogene and especially Quaternary communities, and resolve the question of capitalization: an upper-case initial letter without exception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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