IGCP 652: Reading geologic time in Paleozoic sedimentary rocks: the need for an integrated stratigraphy.

IGCP 652: Reading geologic time in Paleozoic sedimentary rocks: the need for an integrated stratigraphy.


Major events punctuated the Paleozoic: ecological crises and diversifications, shifts in ocean chemistry, climatic changes, etc. One of the key-obstacles in understanding these events lays in the difficulty of providing precise estimates of the duration represented by a sequence of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. This lack of temporal precision severely hampers the evaluation of forcing mechanisms and rates of climatic, ecological or biogeochemical changes in the Paleozoic. It is therefore essential to first improve the Paleozoic timescale to then unravel the history of the Paleozoic Earth system.
Cyclostratigraphy is a powerful chronometer, based on the detection of the Milankovitch cycles in the sedimentary record. Those cycles result from periodic variations in the Earth-Sun system, affecting the distribution of solar energy over the Planet influencing Earth’s climate on time scales between 104 and 106 years. Through the integration of this astronomical time scale with biostratigraphy and radio-isotopic dating, this project intends to document the environmental evolution during the Paleozoic with a focus on the Ordovician to Devonian (485 – 359 million years). It gathers participants (> 200) from all over the world (36 countries) and promotes the participation of young scientists and scientists from developing countries.

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