Formal Subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch
This proposal, by a Working Group of Integration of ice-core, marine, and terrestrial records (INTIMATE) and the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), is for a formal subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch. Although previous attempts to subdivide the Holocene have proved inconclusive, recent developments in Quaternary stratigraphy, notably the definition of the Pleistocene–Holocene boundary and the emergence of formal subdivisions of the Pleistocene Series/Epoch, mean that it may be timely to revisit this matter. The Quaternary literature reveals a widespread but variable informal usage of a tripartite division of the Holocene (“early”, “middle” or “mid-”, and “late”), and we propose that this de facto subdivision should now be formalised to ensure consistency in stratigraphic terminology. We advocate a formal Early–Middle Holocene boundary at 8200 a BP and a formal Middle–Late Holocene boundary at 4200 a BP, each of which is linked to a Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP).
KeywordsHolocene Stratigraphic subdivision 8.2 ka and 4.2 ka events NGRIP ice core Mawmluh Cave stalagmite
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