From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Early Pliocene)
5.333 – 3.600 Ma
Formerly part ofTertiary Period/System
Name formalityFormal
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitAge
Stratigraphic unitStage
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionBase of the Thvera magnetic event (C3n.4n), which is only 96 ka (5 precession cycles) younger than the GSSP
Lower boundary GSSPHeraclea Minoa section, Heraclea Minoa, Cattolica Eraclea, Sicily, Italy
37°23′30″N 13°16′50″E / 37.3917°N 13.2806°E / 37.3917; 13.2806
Lower GSSP ratified2000[4]
Upper boundary definitionBase of Gauss/Gilbert (C2An/C2Ar) magnetic reversal
Upper boundary GSSPPunta Piccola Section, Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Italy
37°17′20″N 13°29′36″E / 37.2889°N 13.4933°E / 37.2889; 13.4933
Upper GSSP ratifiedJanuary 1997[5]
Artistic interpretation of the flooding 5.3 mya of the Mediterranean through the Gibraltar Strait (A) and the Sicilian strait (F)

The Zanclean is the lowest stage or earliest age on the geologic time scale of the Pliocene. It spans the time between 5.332 ± 0.005 Ma (million years ago) and 3.6 ± 0.005 Ma. It is preceded by the Messinian Age of the Miocene Epoch, and followed by the Piacenzian Age.

The Zanclean can be correlated with regionally used stages, such as the Opoitian of New Zealand,[6] and the Tabianian or Dacian of Central Europe. It also corresponds to the late Hemphillian to mid-Blancan North American Land Mammal Ages. In California, the Zanclean roughly corresponds to the middle part of the Delmontian stage.[7]


The Zanclean Stage was introduced by Giuseppe Seguenza in 1868. It is named after Zancle, the pre-Roman name for the Italian city of Messina on Sicily.

The base of the Zanclean (and the Pliocene Series) lies with the top of magnetic chronozone Cr3 (about 100,000 years before the Thvera normal subchronozone C3n.4n). The base is also close to the extinction level of the calcareous nanoplankton species Triquetrorhabdulus rugosus (the base of biozone CN10b) and the first appearance of nanoplankton Ceratolithus acutus. The GSSP for the Zanclean is in the vicinity of the ruins of the ancient city of Heraclea Minoa on Sicily, Italy.[8]

The top of the Zanclean Stage (the base of the Piacenzian Stage) is at the base of magnetic chronozone C2An (the base of the Gauss chronozone and at the extinction of the planktonic forams Globorotalia margaritae and Pulleniatina primalis.

Events of the Zanclean[edit]



  1. ^ Krijgsman, W.; Garcés, M.; Langereis, C. G.; Daams, R.; Van Dam, J.; Van Der Meulen, A. J.; Agustí, J.; Cabrera, L. (1996). "A new chronology for the middle to late Miocene continental record in Spain". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 142 (3–4): 367–380. Bibcode:1996E&PSL.142..367K. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(96)00109-4.
  2. ^ Retallack, G. J. (1997). "Neogene Expansion of the North American Prairie". PALAIOS. 12 (4): 380–390. doi:10.2307/3515337. JSTOR 3515337. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
  3. ^ "ICS Timescale Chart" (PDF).
  4. ^ Van Couvering, John; Castradori, Davide; Cita, Maria; Hilgen, Frederik; Rio, Domenico (September 2000). "The base of the Zanclean Stage and of the Pliocene Series" (PDF). Episodes. 23 (3): 179–187. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/2000/v23i3/005. S2CID 10836910.
  5. ^ Castradori, D.; D. Rio; F. J. Hilgen; L. J. Lourens (1998). "The Global Standard Stratotype-section and Point (GSSP) of the Piacenzian Stage (Middle Pliocene)" (PDF). Episodes. 21 (2): 88–93. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/1998/v21i2/003. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  6. ^ Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G.; Schmitz, M.D.; Ogg, G.M. (editors) (2012). The Geologic Timescale 2012. Elsevier. pp. 936–937. ISBN 978-0-44-459390-0.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ Allaby, Ailsa; Michael Allaby (1999). "Delmontian". A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. Retrieved 10 Dec 2009. A stage in the Upper Tertiary of the west coast of N. America
  8. ^ Van Couvering et al. (2000)
  9. ^ A high-resolution stratigraphic framework for the latest Messinian events in the Mediterranean area. vol. 5, nos. 3-4, pp. 323-342, text-figures 1-9, 2008. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Petuch, Edward J.; Roberts, Charles (18 April 2007). The Geology of the Everglades and Adjacent Areas. ISBN 9781420045598.


  • Castradori, D.; Rio, D.; Hilgen, F.J. & Lourens, L.J.; 1998: The Global Standard Stratotype section and Point (GSSP) of the Piacenzian Stage (Middle Pliocene), Episodes, 21(2): pp 88–93.
  • Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G. (eds.) (2005) A Geologic Time Scale 2004 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, ISBN 0-521-78142-6.
  • Giuseppe Seguenza; 1868: La Formation Zancléenne, ou recherches sur une nouvelle formation tertiaire, Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, séries 2, 25: 465-485. (in French)
  • Van Couvering, J.A.; Castradori, D.; Cita, M.B.; Hilgen, F.J. & Rio, D.; 2000: The base of the Zanclean Stage and of the Pliocene Series, Episodes, 23(3): pp 179–187.

External links[edit]

  • Zanclean at the GeoWhen database
  • Neogene timescale, at the website of the subcommission for stratigraphic information of the ICS
  • Neogene timescale at the website of the Norwegian network of offshore records of geology and stratigraphy

Coordinates: 37°23′30″N 13°16′50″E / 37.3917°N 13.2806°E / 37.3917; 13.2806