ICS Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy



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 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.
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.
Pianico laminated lacustrine sequence, Northern Italy

Information and features



Section photograph: Anse du brick

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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.

Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy,
International Commission on Stratigraphy
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