The stratigraphic basis of the Anthropocene Event

Matthew Edgeworth*, Philip Gibbard, Michael Walker, Dorothy Merritts, Stanley Finney, Mark Maslin

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper outlines the stratigraphic basis of a proposed Anthropocene Event. It considers a diachronous event framework to be more appropriate for understanding the Anthropocene than treating it as a new geological series/epoch. Four general categories of material evidence are identified as of particular relevance: ‘artificial’ strata with natural constituents; humanly modified ground; legacy sediments; and ‘natural’ geo-deposits containing artefactual material. All these arise from the interaction and mixing of human, natural, and hybrid human-natural forces. Taken together, such stratigraphic evidence supports the case for recognising the Anthropocene as an unfolding event.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100088
Number of pages11
JournalQuaternary Science Advances
Early online date19 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2023


  • Anthropocene
  • Diachroneity
  • Event
  • Humanly-modified ground
  • Legacy sediment


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