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RE: New Geologic Epoch



> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Adrienne Mayor
>
> The Anthropocene Epoch:
> 
> http://www.world-science.net/othernews/080225 anthropocene.htm
> 
> 
Actual paper is in February's issue of GSA Today:
http://www.gsajournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1130%2FGSAT
01802A.1

Yeah, I just trashed this in my graduate seminar today, along the following
lines:

1) If the function of the geochronology and chronostratigraphy is to
correlate events (which it is), then we can already do so using newspapers
etc. for the timeframe considered...

2) What they are describing (the effects of industrial human activity on the
biosphere and chemosphere) has far more in common short term stratigraphic
events (PETM; the Chicxulub impact & sequelae; enivironmental effects at the
Permo-Triassic; etc.) than it does epochs.

Now the news article you cite has a rather unrealistic comment in it:
"A rad-i-cal pro-pos-al is gain-ing ground among ge-ol-o-gists."

GAINING GROUND?!? The paper came out this week! How can it gain ground if it
hasn't had time to be evaluated!

I strongly hope the ICS rejects it. Restoration of the Quaternary as a
Period (including the Gelasian Stage) makes sense; this doesn't.

Other proposals to the ICS include mucking about with the Carboniferous
(again...) and the Cambrian (again...) and (one I would like to see passed!)
formal reorganization of a Lower (Berriasian-Aptian), Middle
(Albian-Turonian), and Upper (Coniacian-Maastrichtian) Cretaceous.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Fax: 301-405-0796

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA