STRATI 2013 pp 999-1002 | Cite as

Potential Formalization of the Anthropocene: A Progress Report

  • Jan ZalasiewiczEmail author
  • Colin Waters
  • Mark Williams
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


The geological rationale for a potential formal Anthropocene Epoch includes evidence of lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, and chemostratigraphic change. These changes represent the early stages of what will be a long-lasting geological event, and at present range from substantial (e.g., lithostratigraphic changes and species invasions) to minor (e.g., sea-level rise), while some (e.g., new mineral species) are geologically novel. On current evidence, a practicable base for an Anthropocene Series may be placed around 1950 CE, coincident with global chemostratigraphic and other changes. This possibility needs examining via the assembly and debate of further stratigraphic evidence, and consideration of the utility of the term as a formal unit.


Anthropocene Holocene Quaternary Anthropogenic 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  2. 2.British Geological SurveyKeyworthUK

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