Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 287–309 | Cite as

Paleogene integrative stratigraphy and timescale of China

  • Yuanqing WangEmail author
  • Qian Li
  • Bin Bai
  • Xun Jin
  • Fangyuan Mao
  • Jin Meng


The Paleogene is the first period after the Mesozoic Mass Extinction. Mammals become the dominant group in the terrestrial ecosystem with a rapid radiation, and Asia has been considered to be the origin place of several mammalian groups. The Paleogene System consists mostly of terrestrial deposits in Asia, especially in East Asia. A well-established regional chronostratigraphic framework is the foundation for understanding both the Paleogene geologic history and evolutionary history of Asia and their relationships. The Paleogene is subdivided into the Paleocene, Eocene and Oligocene in the International Chronostratigraphic Chart. Based on the land mammal ages, the Chinese terrestrial Paleogene can be subdivided into 11 stages: the Shanghuan, Nongshanian and Bayanulanian stages of the Paleocene, the Lingchan, Arshantan, Irdinmanhan, Sharamurunian, Ulangochuian and Baiyinian stages of the Eocene, and the Ulantatalian and Tabenbulukian stages of the Oligocene. These stages have distinctive paleontological characters, with special significance of fossil mammals, which provide a reliable practical basis. The bases of the Shanghuan, Lingchan, and Ulantatalian stages are coincident respectively with those of the Paleocene, Eocene and Oligocene. The ages for their bases are determined as 66.0, 56.0 and 33.9 Ma, respectively, following that for the corresponding series in the International Chronostratigraphic Chart. For other stages, estimated ages are provided based on available paleomagnetic results.


Paleogene Correlation Biostratigraphy Magnetostratigraphy Chronostratigraphy 


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We appreciated Profs. Li Chuankui and Tong Yongsheng for their suggestions and discussions. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41572021) and the National Commission on Stratigraphy of China.


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanqing Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Qian Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bin Bai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xun Jin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fangyuan Mao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin Meng
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.CAS Center for Excellence in Life and PaleoenvironmentBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Earth SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.American Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA

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