The Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS) is a constituent body of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), the largest scientific organisation within the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
It is also the only body concerned with stratigraphy on a global scale for the whole geological column. Its most important major objective is the establishment of a standard, globally-applicable stratigraphical scale, which it seeks to achieve through the co-ordinated contributions of a network of Subcommissions and Working Groups with a specific, limited mandate.
The SQS exists to promote and co-ordinate international co-operation and integration by applying the statutary scientific goals of the ICS to the Quaternary - the most recent geological system, the last 2.6 Ma:
The scientific activities are carried out through projects, websites, publications and meetings, particularly through close co-operation with our sister organisation the International Union of Quaternary Research (INQUA), INQUA - Commission on Stratigraphy and Chronology (SACCOM), as well as through collaboration with other organisations.
- the establishment and publication of a standard and global geological time-scale for the Quaternary
and the preparation and publication of global correlation charts,
- the unification of regional chronostratigraphical nomenclature by organising and documenting stratigraphical units on a global scale,
- the promotion of education in stratigraphical methods, and the dissemination of stratigraphical knowledge,
- the evaluation of new stratigraphical methods and their integration into a multidisciplinary stratigraphy, and
- the definition of principles of stratigraphical classification, terminology and procedure and their publication in guides and glossaries.
Information and features
- «Sommes-nous entrés dans l'Anthropocène » La Recherche. n°474 p. 79. - 28.03.13.
It's official! - the angst and kerfuffle over the Quaternary is over - comments by Andrew Alden on the About.com Geology blog.
A discussion with the Anthropocene Working Group - a round table discussion recorded as
part of the Generation Anthropocene podcast produced by Miles Traer (Stanford University). Anthropocene Working Group members Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams, Mike Ellis, and Davor Vidas discuss how we define geological boundaries, what makes the Anthropocene boundary different, and society implications for creating a new geological time division. 26.2.13.
Discussion of the formal subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch.
Now published - Pillans, B. & Gibbard, P.L. 2012. The Quaternary Period. In: Gradstein,F., Ogg,J., Schmitz, M. & Ogg, G.(eds) The Geologic Time Scale 2012. Elsevier: Amsterdam. Ch. 30, 980-1009.
- Geologists drive golden spike toward Anthropocene's base by Paul Voosen, E&E reporter Greenwire: Monday, 17 September 2012.
- New Subcommission officers take up their posts, Martin Head (Chair), Brad Pillans (Vice-chair) and Jan Zalasiewicz (Secretary).
- Alexey S. Tesakov reports that the Russian Stratigraphic Committee has finally accepted/endorsed the lowering of the Quaternary base in the Russian domestic "General Stratigraphic scheme" to the international level - 9.7.12. (click for details).
- INQUA-SACCOM establishes new website - 20.2.12, including a guide to stratigraphic principles for Quaternary scientists.
- Calabrian Stage ratified by IUGS - 5.12.11 (article). This definition completes the Early Pleistocene Subseries.
This site is supported by Wiley Quaternary Journals. Read more.
Photographs (top to bottom):
1: Laminated lacustrine sequence - Pianico, Northern Italy (late Middle Pleistocene interglacial, Holsteinian, c. Marine Isotope Stage 11).
2: Raised beach sequence - Anse du brick, Normandy, France - raised beach (Eemian, c. Marine Isotope Substage 5e), and slope deposits (Weichselian, c. Marine Isotope Stage 4-2) - Late Pleistocene.