NORTH AMERICAN STRATIGRAPHIC CODE1 North American Commission on ...
strives to incorporate the strength and acceptance of estab- dorsement by constituent or...
d. Differences of spelling and changes in name ..............................................................................
e. Independence from time concepts ..........................................................................................
b. Type and reference localities ............................................................................................
c. Independence from lithostratigraphic units ...............................................................................
b. Allomember ...............................................................................................................
POLARITY-CHRONOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS ..........................................................................................
FIGURES 1. Relation of geologic time units to the kinds of rock-unit referents on which most are based ...................
rigorous study of the composition, geometry, sequence, his- tinctive terms are needed to identify the property us...
formal categories are recognized here relative to previous Table 1. Classes of Units Defined*codes or in the I...
based on fossil content (biostratigraphic units, Article 48). Geologic-Climate units, defined in the 1970 Code (A...
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Nasc 2008

Codigo estratigrafico Norteamericano
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
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Transcripts - Nasc 2008

  • 1. NORTH AMERICAN STRATIGRAPHIC CODE1 North American Commission on Stratigraphic NomenclatureFOREWORD TO THE REVISED EDITION FOREWORD TO THE 1983 CODE By design, the North American Stratigraphic Code is The 1983 Code of recommended procedures for clas-meant to be an evolving document, one that requires change sifying and naming stratigraphic and related units was pre-as the field of earth science evolves. The revisions to the pared during a four-year period, by and for North AmericanCode that are included in this 2005 edition encompass a earth scientists, under the auspices of the North Americanbroad spectrum of changes, ranging from a complete revision Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature. It representsof the section on Biostratigraphic Units (Articles 48 to 54), the thought and work of scores of persons, and thousands ofseveral wording changes to Article 58 and its remarks con- hours of writing and editing. Opportunities to participate incerning Allostratigraphic Units, updating of Article 4 to in- and review the work have been provided throughout itscorporate changes in publishing methods over the last two development, as cited in the Preamble, to a degree unprece-decades, and a variety of minor wording changes to improve dented during preparation of earlier codes.clarity and self-consistency between different sections of the Publication of the International Stratigraphic Guide inCode. In addition, Figures 1, 4, 5, and 6, as well as Tables 1 1976 made evident some insufficiencies of the Americanand Tables 2 have been modified. Most of the changes Stratigraphic Codes of 1961 and 1970. The Commissionadopted in this revision arose from Notes 60, 63, and 64 of considered whether to discard our codes, patch them over,the Commission, all of which were published in the AAPG or rewrite them fully, and chose the last. We believe it de-Bulletin. These changes follow Code amendment procedures sirable to sponsor a code of stratigraphic practice for use inas outlined in Article 21. North America, for we can adapt to new methods and points We hope these changes make the Code a more usable of view more rapidly than a worldwide body. A timely ex-document to professionals and students alike. Suggestions ample was the recognized need to develop modes of estab-for future modifications or additions to the North American lishing formal nonstratiform (igneous and high-grade meta-Stratigraphic Code are always welcome. Suggested and morphic) rock units, an objective that is met in this Code,adopted modifications will be announced to the profession, but not yet in the Guide.as in the past, by serial Notes and Reports published in the The ways in which the 1983 Code (revised 2005) differsAAPG Bulletin. Suggestions may be made to representatives from earlier American codes are evident from the Contents.of your association or agency who are current commis- Some categories have disappeared and others are new, butsioners, or directly to the Commission itself. The Commis- this Code has evolved from earlier codes and from thesion meets annually, during the national meetings of the International Stratigraphic Guide. Some new units have notGeological Society of America. yet stood the test of long practice, and conceivably may not, but they are introduced toward meeting recognized and 2004 North American Commission defined needs of the profession. Take this Code, use it, but on Stratigraphic Nomenclature do not condemn it because it contains something new or not of direct interest to you. Innovations that prove unaccept- able to the profession will expire without damage to other concepts and procedures, just as did the geologic-climate units of the 1961 Code. The 1983 Code was necessarily somewhat innovative because of (1) the decision to write a new code, rather than to revise the 1970 Code; (2) the open invitation to members1 Manuscript received November 12, 2004; provisional acceptance February 10, of the geologic profession to offer suggestions and ideas,2005; revised manuscript received May 19, 2005; final acceptance July 05, 2005. both in writing and orally; and (3) the progress in the earthDOI:10.1306/07050504129 sciences since completion of previous codes. This reportAAPG Bulletin, v. 89, no. 11 (November 2005), pp. 1547– 1591 1547
  • 2. strives to incorporate the strength and acceptance of estab- dorsement by constituent organizations is anticipated, andlished practice, with suggestions for meeting future needs scientific communication will be fostered if Canadian, Unitedperceived by our colleagues; its authors have attempted to States, and Mexican scientists, editors, and administratorsbring together the good from the past, the lessons of the consult Code recommendations for guidance in scientific re-Guide, and carefully reasoned provisions for the immediate ports. The Commission will appreciate reports of formalfuture. adoption or endorsement of the Code, and asks that they be Participants in preparation of the 1983 Code are listed transmitted to the Chairman of the Commission (c/o Ameri-in Appendix I, but many others helped with their sugges- can Association of Petroleum Geologists, Box 979, Tulsa,tions and comments. Major contributions were made by the Oklahoma 74101, U.S.A.).members, and especially the chairmen, of the named sub- Any code necessarily represents but a stage in the evo-committees and advisory groups under the guidance of the lution of scientific communication. Suggestions for futureCode Committee, chaired by Steven S. Oriel, who also served changes of, or additions to, the North American Stratigraphicas principal, but not sole, editor. Amidst the noteworthy Code are welcome. Suggested and adopted modifications willcontributions by many, those of James D. Aitken have been be announced to the profession, as in the past, by serial Notesoutstanding. The work was performed for and supported by and Reports published in the AAPG Bulletin. Suggestionsthe Commission, chaired by Malcolm P. Weiss from 1978 may be made to representatives of your association or agencyto 1982. who are current commissioners, or directly to the Commis- This Code is the product of a truly North American effort. sion itself. The Commission meets annually, during the na-Many former and current commissioners representing not tional meetings of the Geological Society of America.only the ten organizational members of the North AmericanCommission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (Appendix II), 1982 North American Commissionbut other institutions, as well, generated the product. En- on Stratigraphic Nomenclature CONTENTS PagePART I. PREAMBLE ...........................................................................................................................................................1555 BACKGROUND ..............................................................................................................................................................1555 PERSPECTIVE ..............................................................................................................................................................1555 SCOPE ...........................................................................................................................................................................1555 RELATION OF CODES TO INTERNATIONAL GUIDE ...........................................................................................1556 OVERVIEW .....................................................................................................................................................................1556 CATEGORIES RECOGNIZED ....................................................................................................................................1556 Material Categories Based on Content or Physical Limits ..............................................................................................1557 Categories Expressing or Related to Geologic Age ........................................................................................................1558 Pedostratigraphic Terms ..............................................................................................................................................1559 FORMAL AND INFORMAL UNITS ............................................................................................................................1560 CORRELATION ...........................................................................................................................................................1560PART II. ARTICLES ...........................................................................................................................................................1561 INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................................................................1561 Article 1. Purpose ......................................................................................................................................................1561 Article 2. Categories ..................................................................................................................................................1561 GENERAL PROCEDURES ..............................................................................................................................................1561 DEFINITION OF FORMAL UNITS ..............................................................................................................................1561 Article 3. Requirements for Formally Named Geologic Units ...................................................................................1561 Article 4. Publication .................................................................................................................................................1561 Remarks: a. Inadequate publication .........................................................................................................................1561 b. Guidebooks ..........................................................................................................................................1561 c. Electronic publication ..........................................................................................................................1561 Article 5. Intent and Utility ......................................................................................................................................1561 Remark: a. Demonstration of purpose served ........................................................................................................1561 Article 6. Category and Rank ....................................................................................................................................1561 Remark: a. Need for specification ...........................................................................................................................1561 Article 7. Name .........................................................................................................................................................1561 Remarks: a. Appropriate geographic terms ..............................................................................................................1562 b. Duplication of names ...........................................................................................................................1562 c. Priority and preservation of established names .....................................................................................15621548 North American Stratigraphic Code
  • 3. d. Differences of spelling and changes in name ........................................................................................1562 e. Names in different countries and different languages ...........................................................................1563 Article 8. Stratotypes ................................................................................................................................................1563 Remarks: a. Unit stratotype ....................................................................................................................................1563 b. Boundary stratotype .............................................................................................................................1563 c. Type locality ........................................................................................................................................1563 d. Composite-stratotype ..........................................................................................................................1563 e. Reference sections ................................................................................................................................1563 f. Stratotype descriptions ........................................................................................................................1563 Article 9. Unit Description ........................................................................................................................................1563 Article 10. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1563 Remarks: a. Boundaries between intergradational units ..........................................................................................1563 b. Overlaps and gaps ...............................................................................................................................1563 Article 11. Historical Background .............................................................................................................................1564 Article 12. Dimensions and Regional Relations ........................................................................................................1564 Article 13. Age ..........................................................................................................................................................1564 Remarks: a. Dating ..................................................................................................................................................1564 b. Calibration ...........................................................................................................................................1564 c. Convention and abbreviations .............................................................................................................1564 d. Expression of ‘‘age’’ of lithodemic units ..............................................................................................1564 Article 14. Correlation ..............................................................................................................................................1564 Article 15. Genesis ....................................................................................................................................................1564 Article 16. Surface and Subsea Units ........................................................................................................................1564 Remarks: a. Naming subsurface units ......................................................................................................................1564 b. Additional recommendations ...............................................................................................................1564 c. Seismostratigraphic units .....................................................................................................................1564REVISION AND ABANDONMENT OF FORMAL UNITS ...........................................................................................1565 Article 17. Requirements for Major Changes ............................................................................................................1565 Remark: a. Distinction between redefinition and revision .......................................................................................1565 Article 18. Redefinition .............................................................................................................................................1565 Remarks: a. Change in lithic designation ................................................................................................................1565 b. Original lithic designation inappropriate .............................................................................................1565 Article 19. Revision ...................................................................................................................................................1565 Remarks: a. Boundary change .................................................................................................................................1565 b. Change in rank ....................................................................................................................................1565 c. Examples of changes from area to area ...............................................................................................1565 d. Example of change in single area .........................................................................................................1565 e. Retention of type section ....................................................................................................................1565 f. Different geographic name for a unit and its parts ..............................................................................1565 g. Undesirable restriction .........................................................................................................................1565 Article 20. Abandonment ..........................................................................................................................................1565 Remarks: a. Reasons for abandonment .....................................................................................................................1565 b. Abandoned names ...............................................................................................................................1565 c. Obsolete names ...................................................................................................................................1565 d. Reference to abandoned names ............................................................................................................1566 e. Reinstatement ......................................................................................................................................1566 CODE AMENDMENT ..............................................................................................................................................1566 Article 21. Procedure for Amendment ......................................................................................................................1566FORMAL UNITS DISTINGUISHED BY CONTENT, PROPERTIES, OR PHYSICAL LIMITS ....................................1566 LITHOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS .................................................................................................................................1566 Nature and Boundaries ................................................................................................................................................1566 Article 22. Nature of Lithostratigraphic Units ..........................................................................................................1566 Remarks: a. Basic units ............................................................................................................................................1566 b. Type section and locality .....................................................................................................................1566 c. Type section never changed .................................................................................................................1566 d. Independence from inferred geologic history .......................................................................................1566 North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature 1549
  • 4. e. Independence from time concepts .......................................................................................................1566 f. Surface form ........................................................................................................................................1566 g. Economically exploited units ...............................................................................................................1566 h. Instrumentally defined units ................................................................................................................1566 i. Zone ....................................................................................................................................................1567 j. Cyclothems ..........................................................................................................................................1567 k. Soils and paleosols ................................................................................................................................1567 l. Depositional facies ...............................................................................................................................1567 Article 23. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1567 Remarks: a. Boundary in a vertically gradational sequence ......................................................................................1567 b. Boundaries in lateral lithologic change ..................................................................................................1567 c. Key beds used for boundaries ...............................................................................................................1567 d. Unconformities as boundaries ..............................................................................................................1567 e. Correspondence with genetic units .......................................................................................................1567 Ranks of Lithostratigraphic Units .................................................................................................................................1567 Article 24. Formation ................................................................................................................................................1567 Remarks: a. Fundamental unit .................................................................................................................................1567 b. Content ...............................................................................................................................................1567 c. Lithic characteristics ............................................................................................................................1567 d. Mappability and thickness ...................................................................................................................1569 e. Organic reefs and carbonate mounds ....................................................................................................1569 f. Interbedded volcanic and sedimentary rock ..........................................................................................1569 g. Volcanic rock .......................................................................................................................................1569 h. Metamorphic rock ...............................................................................................................................1569 Article 25. Member ...................................................................................................................................................1569 Remarks: a. Mapping of members ............................................................................................................................1569 b. Lens and tongue ...................................................................................................................................1569 c. Organic reefs and carbonate mounds ....................................................................................................1569 d. Division of members ............................................................................................................................1569 e. Laterally equivalent members ..............................................................................................................1569 Article 26. Bed(s) ......................................................................................................................................................1569 Remarks: a. Limitations ...........................................................................................................................................1569 b. Key or marker beds .............................................................................................................................1569 Article 27. Flow .........................................................................................................................................................1569 Article 28. Group ......................................................................................................................................................1569 Remarks: a. Use and content ...................................................................................................................................1569 b. Change in component formations .......................................................................................................1569 c. Change in rank .....................................................................................................................................1570 Article 29. Supergroup ..............................................................................................................................................1570 Remark: a. Misuse of ‘‘series’’ for group or supergroup ..........................................................................................1570 Lithostratigraphic Nomenclature .................................................................................................................................1570 Article 30. Compound Character ..............................................................................................................................1570 Remarks: a. Omission of part of a name ...................................................................................................................1570 b. Use of simple lithic terms ....................................................................................................................1570 c. Group names .......................................................................................................................................1570 d. Formation names ..................................................................................................................................1570 e. Member names ....................................................................................................................................1570 f. Names of reefs ......................................................................................................................................1570 g. Bed and flow names .............................................................................................................................1570 h. Informal units ......................................................................................................................................1570 i. Informal usage of identical geographic names .......................................................................................1570 j. Metamorphic rock ................................................................................................................................1570 k. Misuse of well-known name .................................................................................................................1570 LITHODEMIC UNITS ..................................................................................................................................................1570 Nature and Boundaries .................................................................................................................................................1570 Article 31. Nature of Lithodemic Units .....................................................................................................................1570 Remarks: a. Recognition and definition ....................................................................................................................15701550 North American Stratigraphic Code
  • 5. b. Type and reference localities ................................................................................................................1571 c. Independence from inferred geologic history .......................................................................................1571 d. Use of ‘‘zone’’ ......................................................................................................................................1571 Article 32. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1571 Remark: a. Boundaries within gradational zones .....................................................................................................1571 Ranks of Lithodemic Units ...........................................................................................................................................1571 Article 33. Lithodeme ...............................................................................................................................................1571 Remarks: a. Content ................................................................................................................................................1571 b. Lithic characteristics ............................................................................................................................1571 c. Mappability .........................................................................................................................................1572 Article 34. Division of Lithodemes ............................................................................................................................1572 Article 35. Suite ........................................................................................................................................................1572 Remarks: a. Purpose ................................................................................................................................................1572 b. Change in component units .................................................................................................................1572 c. Change in rank .....................................................................................................................................1572 Article 36. Supersuite ................................................................................................................................................1572 Article 37. Complex ..................................................................................................................................................1572 Remarks: a. Use of ‘‘complex’’ ................................................................................................................................1572 b. Volcanic complex ................................................................................................................................1572 c. Structural complex ..............................................................................................................................1572 d. Misuse of ‘‘complex’’ ...........................................................................................................................1572 Article 38. Misuse of ‘‘Series’’ for Suite, Complex, or Supersuite ............................................................................1572 Lithodemic Nomenclature ...........................................................................................................................................1572 Article 39. General Provisions ...................................................................................................................................1572 Article 40. Lithodeme Names ...................................................................................................................................1572 Remarks: a. Lithic term ...........................................................................................................................................1572 b. Intrusive and plutonic rocks .................................................................................................................1572 Article 41. Suite Names .............................................................................................................................................1573 Article 42. Supersuite Names ....................................................................................................................................1573MAGNETOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS .........................................................................................................................1573 Nature and Boundaries .................................................................................................................................................1573 Article 43. Nature of Magnetostratigraphic Units ......................................................................................................1573 Remarks: a. Definition .............................................................................................................................................1573 b. Contemporaneity of rock and remanent magnetism ............................................................................1573 c. Designations and scope ........................................................................................................................1573 Article 44. Definition of Magnetopolarity Unit ........................................................................................................1573 Remarks: a. Nature .................................................................................................................................................1573 b. Stratotype ............................................................................................................................................1573 c. Independence from inferred history .....................................................................................................1573 d. Relation to lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic units .......................................................................1573 e. Relation of magnetopolarity units to chronostratigraphic units ............................................................1573 Article 45. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1573 Remark: a. Polarity-reversal horizons and transition zones .....................................................................................1573 Ranks of Magnetopolarity Units ..................................................................................................................................1573 Article 46. Fundamental Unit ...................................................................................................................................1573 Remarks: a. Content ................................................................................................................................................1573 b. Thickness and duration ........................................................................................................................1574 c. Ranks ...................................................................................................................................................1574 Magnetopolarity Nomenclature ...................................................................................................................................1574 Article 47. Compound Name ....................................................................................................................................1574BIOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS ......................................................................................................................................1574 Preamble .....................................................................................................................................................................1574 Article 48. Fundamentals of Biostratigraphy .............................................................................................................1574 Remark: a. Uniqueness ...........................................................................................................................................1574 Nature and Boundaries .................................................................................................................................................1574 Article 49. Nature of Biostratigraphic Units .............................................................................................................1574 Remarks: a. Unfossiliferous rocks ............................................................................................................................1574 b. Contemporaneity of rocks and fossils ..................................................................................................1574 North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature 1551
  • 6. c. Independence from lithostratigraphic units ..........................................................................................1574 d. Independence from chronostratigraphic units ......................................................................................1574 Article 50. Kinds of Biostratigraphic Units ...............................................................................................................1574 Remarks: a. Range biozone ......................................................................................................................................1574 b. Interval biozone ...................................................................................................................................1574 c. Lineage biozone ...................................................................................................................................1574 d. Assemblage biozone .............................................................................................................................1574 e. Abundance biozone .............................................................................................................................1574 f. Hybrid or new types of biozones .........................................................................................................1575 Article 51. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1575 Remark: a. Identification of biozones .....................................................................................................................1575 Article 52. [not used] ................................................................................................................................................1576 Ranks of Biostratigraphic Units ....................................................................................................................................1576 Article 53. Fundamental Unit ...................................................................................................................................1576 Remarks: a. Scope ...................................................................................................................................................1576 b. Divisions ..............................................................................................................................................1576 c. Shortened forms of expression .............................................................................................................1576 Biostratigraphic Nomenclature ....................................................................................................................................1576 Article 54. Establishing Formal units ........................................................................................................................1576 Remarks: a. Name ...................................................................................................................................................1576 b. Shorter designations for biozone names ...............................................................................................1576 c. Revision ...............................................................................................................................................1576 d. Defining taxa .......................................................................................................................................1576 e. Reference sections ................................................................................................................................1576 PEDOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS ..................................................................................................................................1576 Nature and Boundaries ................................................................................................................................................1576 Article 55. Nature of Pedostratigraphic Units ...........................................................................................................1576 Remarks: a. Definition .............................................................................................................................................1577 b. Recognition ..........................................................................................................................................1577 c. Boundaries and stratigraphic position ...................................................................................................1577 d. Traceability ..........................................................................................................................................1577 e. Distinction from pedologic soils ...........................................................................................................1577 f. Relation to saprolite and other weathered materials ............................................................................1577 g. Distinction from other stratigraphic units .............................................................................................1577 h. Independence from time concepts .......................................................................................................1578 Pedostratigraphic Nomenclature and Unit ...................................................................................................................1578 Article 56. Fundamental Unit ....................................................................................................................................1578 Article 57. Nomenclature ..........................................................................................................................................1578 Remarks: a. Composite geosols ................................................................................................................................1578 b. Characterization ..................................................................................................................................1578 c. Procedures for establishing formal pedostratigraphic units ..................................................................1578 ALLOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS ..................................................................................................................................1578 Nature and Boundaries ................................................................................................................................................1578 Article 58. Nature of Allostratigraphic Units ............................................................................................................1578 Remarks: a. Purpose ................................................................................................................................................1578 b. Internal characteristics .........................................................................................................................1578 c. Boundaries ...........................................................................................................................................1578 d. Mappability .........................................................................................................................................1578 e. Type locality and extent .......................................................................................................................1578 f. Relation to genesis ...............................................................................................................................1578 g. Relation to geomorphic surfaces ..........................................................................................................1578 h. Relation to soils and paleosols .............................................................................................................1578 i. Relation to inferred geologic history ....................................................................................................1578 j. Relation to time concepts ....................................................................................................................1578 k. Extension of allostratigraphic units ......................................................................................................1578 Ranks of Allostratigraphic Units ..................................................................................................................................1578 Article 59. Hierarchy .................................................................................................................................................1578 Remarks: a. Alloformation ......................................................................................................................................15781552 North American Stratigraphic Code
  • 7. b. Allomember .........................................................................................................................................1578 c. Allogroup .............................................................................................................................................1578 d. Changes in rank ....................................................................................................................................1579 Allostratigraphic Nomenclature ...................................................................................................................................1579 Article 60. Nomenclature ..........................................................................................................................................1579 Remark: a. Revision ...............................................................................................................................................1579FORMAL UNITS EXPRESSING OR RELATING TO GEOLOGIC AGE .....................................................................1579 KINDS OF GEOLOGIC-TIME UNITS .........................................................................................................................1579 Nature and Kinds .........................................................................................................................................................1579 Article 61. Kinds .......................................................................................................................................................1579 Units Based on Material Referents ................................................................................................................................1580 Article 62. Kinds Based on Referents .........................................................................................................................1580 Article 63. Isochronous Categories ............................................................................................................................1580 Remark: a. Extent ..................................................................................................................................................1580 Article 64. Diachronous Categories .............................................................................................................................1580 Remarks: a. Diachroneity ........................................................................................................................................1580 b. Extent ..................................................................................................................................................1581 Units Independent of Material Referents ......................................................................................................................1581 Article 65. Numerical Divisions of Time .....................................................................................................................1581 CHRONOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS ...........................................................................................................................1581 Nature and Boundaries .................................................................................................................................................1581 Article 66. Definition ................................................................................................................................................1581 Remarks: a. Purposes ...............................................................................................................................................1581 b. Nature .................................................................................................................................................1581 c. Content ...............................................................................................................................................1581 Article 67. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1581 Remark: a. Emphasis on lower boundaries of chronostratigraphic units ..................................................................1581 Article 68. Correlation ..............................................................................................................................................1581 Ranks of Chronostratigraphic Units .............................................................................................................................1581 Article 69. Hierarchy .................................................................................................................................................1581 Article 70. Eonothem ................................................................................................................................................1581 Article 71. Erathem ...................................................................................................................................................1581 Remark: a. Names ..................................................................................................................................................1581 Article 72. System .....................................................................................................................................................1582 Remark: a. Subsystem and supersystem ..................................................................................................................1582 Article 73. Series .......................................................................................................................................................1582 Article 74. Stage ........................................................................................................................................................1582 Remark: a. Substage ...............................................................................................................................................1582 Article 75. Chronozone .............................................................................................................................................1582 Remarks: a. Boundaries of chronozones ..................................................................................................................1582 b. Scope ...................................................................................................................................................1582 c. Practical utility .....................................................................................................................................1582 Chronostratigraphic Nomenclature .............................................................................................................................1582 Article 76. Requirements ..........................................................................................................................................1582 Article 77. Nomenclature ..........................................................................................................................................1582 Remarks: a. Systems and units of higher rank ...........................................................................................................1582 b. Series and units of lower rank ..............................................................................................................1582 Article 78. Stratotypes ...............................................................................................................................................1582 Article 79. Revision of Units ......................................................................................................................................1583 GEOCHRONOLOGIC UNITS .....................................................................................................................................1583 Nature and Boundaries .................................................................................................................................................1583 Article 80. Definition and Basis .................................................................................................................................1583 Ranks and Nomenclature of Geochronologic Units ......................................................................................................1583 Article 81. Hierarchy .................................................................................................................................................1583 Article 82. Nomenclature ..........................................................................................................................................1583 North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature 1553
  • 8. POLARITY-CHRONOSTRATIGRAPHIC UNITS ........................................................................................................1583 Nature and Boundaries .................................................................................................................................................1583 Article 83. Definition ................................................................................................................................................1583 Remarks: a. Nature ..................................................................................................................................................1583 b. Principal purposes ................................................................................................................................1583 c. Recognition ..........................................................................................................................................1583 Article 84. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1583 Ranks and Nomenclature of Polarity-Chronostratigraphic Units ..................................................................................1583 Article 85. Fundamental Unit ....................................................................................................................................1583 Remarks: a. Meaning of term ..................................................................................................................................1583 b. Scope ...................................................................................................................................................1583 c. Ranks ...................................................................................................................................................1583 Article 86. Establishing Formal Units .........................................................................................................................1583 Article 87. Name .......................................................................................................................................................1583 Remarks: a. Preservation of established name ..........................................................................................................1583 b. Expression of doubt .............................................................................................................................1584 POLARITY-CHRONOLOGIC UNITS .........................................................................................................................1584 Nature and Boundaries ................................................................................................................................................1584 Article 88. Definition ................................................................................................................................................1584 Ranks and Nomenclature of Polarity-Chronologic Units .............................................................................................1584 Article 89. Fundamental Unit ...................................................................................................................................1584 Remark: a. Hierarchy .............................................................................................................................................1584 Article 90. Nomenclature ..........................................................................................................................................1584 DIACHRONIC UNITS ..................................................................................................................................................1584 Nature and Boundaries ................................................................................................................................................1584 Article 91. Definition ................................................................................................................................................1584 Remarks: a. Purposes ...............................................................................................................................................1584 b. Scope ...................................................................................................................................................1584 c. Basis .....................................................................................................................................................1584 d. Duration ..............................................................................................................................................1584 Article 92. Boundaries ...............................................................................................................................................1584 Remark: a. Temporal relations ...............................................................................................................................1584 Ranks and Nomenclature of Diachronic Units .............................................................................................................1584 Article 93. Ranks .......................................................................................................................................................1584 Remarks: a. Diachron ..............................................................................................................................................1584 b. Hierarchical ordering permissible .........................................................................................................1584 c. Episode ................................................................................................................................................1584 Article 94. Name .......................................................................................................................................................1585 Remarks: a. Formal designation of units .................................................................................................................1585 b. Interregional extension of geographic names .......................................................................................1585 c. Change from geochronologic to diachronic classification .....................................................................1585 Article 95. Establishing Formal Units ........................................................................................................................1585 Remark: a. Revision or abandonment .....................................................................................................................1585 GEOCHRONOMETRIC UNITS ...................................................................................................................................1585 Nature and Boundaries .................................................................................................................................................1585 Article 96. Definition ................................................................................................................................................1585 Ranks and Nomenclature of Geochronometric Units ..................................................................................................1586 Article 97. Nomenclature ..........................................................................................................................................1586PART III. ADDENDA REFERENCES .................................................................................................................................................................1586 APPENDICES I. PARTICIPANTS AND CONFEREES IN CODE REVISION ..................................................................................1587 II. 1977–2002 COMPOSITION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN COMMISSION ON STRATIGRAPHIC NOMENCLATURE .1588 III. REPORTS AND NOTES OF THE AMERICAN COMMISSION ON STRATIGRAPHIC NOMENCLATURE ....1589ILLUSTRATIONSTABLES 1. Classes of units defined ............................................................................................................................................1557 2. Categories and ranks of units defined in this Code ..................................................................................................15621554 North American Stratigraphic Code
  • 9. FIGURES 1. Relation of geologic time units to the kinds of rock-unit referents on which most are based ..................................1558 2. Diagrammatic examples of lithostratigraphic boundaries and classification .............................................................1568 3. Lithodemic and lithostratigraphic units ...................................................................................................................1571 4. Examples of range, lineage, and interval biozones ....................................................................................................1575 5. Examples of assemblage and abundance biozones ...................................................................................................1576 6. Relation between pedostratigraphic units and pedologic profiles ..............................................................................1577 7. Example of allostratigraphic classification of alluvial and lacustrine deposits in a graben ........................................1579 8. Example of allostratigraphic classification of contiguous deposits of similar lithology ..............................................1579 9. Example of allostratigraphic classification of lithologically similar, discontinuous terrace deposits ..........................1580 10. Comparison of geochronologic, chronostratigraphic, and diachronic units ...............................................................1584 11. Schematic relation of phases to an episode ..............................................................................................................1585 PART I. PREAMBLE renamed the NACSN in 1978 (Weiss, 1979b) to emphasize that delegates from ten organizations in Canada, the United States, and Mexico represent the geological profession through- BACKGROUND out North America (Appendix II). Although many past and current members of the Com-PERSPECTIVE mission helped prepare the 1983 Code, the participation of all interested geologists was sought (for example, Weiss, Codes of Stratigraphic Nomenclature prepared by the 1979a). Open forums were held at the national meetings ofNorth American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomencla- both the Geological Society of America at San Diego inture in 1983, the American Commission on Stratigraphic November, 1979, and the American Association of Petro-Nomenclature (ACSN, 1961), and its predecessor (Com- leum Geologists at Denver in June, 1980, at which com-mittee on Stratigraphic Nomenclature, 1933) have been used ments and suggestions were offered by more than 150 ge-widely as a basis for stratigraphic terminology. Their formu- ologists. The resulting draft of this report was printed,lation was a response to needs recognized during the past through the courtesy of the Canadian Society of Petroleumcentury by government surveys (both national and local) Geologists, on October 1, 1981, and additional commentsand by editors of scientific journals for uniform standards were invited from the profession for a period of one yearand common procedures in defining and classifying formal before submittal of this report to the Commission for adop-rock bodies, their fossils, and the time spans represented by tion. More than 50 responses were received with sufficientthem. The 1970 Code (ACSN, 1970) is a slightly revised suggestions for improvement to prompt moderate revision ofversion of that published in 1961, incorporating some minor the printed draft (NACSN, 1981). We are particularly in-amendments adopted by the Commission between 1962 debted to Hollis D. Hedberg and Amos Salvador for theirand 1969. The 2005 edition of the 1983 Code incorporates exhaustive and perceptive reviews of early drafts of thisamendments adopted by the Commission between 1983 and Code, as well as to those who responded to the request for2003. The Codes have served the profession admirably and comments. Participants in the preparation and revisions ofhave been drawn upon heavily for codes and guides pre- this report, and conferees, are listed in Appendix I.pared in other parts of the world (ISSC, 1976, p. 104 – 106; Recent amendments to the 1983 Code include allowing1994, p. 143 – 147). The principles embodied by any code, electronic publication of new and revised names and correctinghowever, reflect the state of knowledge at the time of its inconsistencies to improve clarity (Ferrusquıa-Villafranca et al., ´preparation. 2001). Also, the Biostratigraphic Units section (Articles 48 New concepts and techniques developed since 1961 have to 54) was revised (Lenz et al., 2001).revolutionized the earth sciences. Moreover, increasingly evi- Some of the expenses incurred in the course of thisdent have been the limitations of previous codes in meeting work were defrayed by National Science Foundation Grantsome needs of Precambrian and Quaternary geology and in EAR 7919845, for which we express appreciation. Institu-classification of plutonic, high-grade metamorphic, volcanic, tions represented by the participants have been especiallyand intensely deformed rock assemblages. In addition, the im- generous in their support.portant contributions of numerous international stratigraphicorganizations associated with both the International Unionof Geological Sciences (IUGS) and UNESCO, including work-ing groups of the International Geological Correlation Pro- SCOPEgramme (IGCP), merit recognition and incorporation intoa North American code. The North American Stratigraphic Code seeks to For these and other reasons, revision of the 1970 Code describe explicit practices for classifying and naming allwas undertaken by committees appointed by the North Ameri- formally defined geologic units. Stratigraphic procedures andcan Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (NACSN). principles, although developed initially to bring order to strataThe Commission, founded as the American Commission and the events recorded therein, are applicable to all earthon Stratigraphic Nomenclature in 1946 (ACSN, 1947), was materials, not solely to strata. They promote systematic and North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature 1555
  • 10. rigorous study of the composition, geometry, sequence, his- tinctive terms are needed to identify the property used intory, and genesis of rocks and unconsolidated materials. They defining each unit.provide the framework within which time and space relations The adjective stratigraphic is used in two ways in theamong rock bodies that constitute the Earth are ordered sys- remainder of this report. In discussions of lithic (used here astematically. Stratigraphic procedures are used not only to synonymous with ‘‘lithologic’’) units, a conscious attempt isreconstruct the history of the Earth and of extra-terrestrial made to restrict the term to lithostratigraphic or layeredbodies, but also to define the distribution and geometry of rocks and sequences that obey the Law of Superposition. Forsome commodities needed by society. Stratigraphic classifica- nonstratiform rocks (of plutonic or tectonic origin, for ex-tion systematically arranges and partitions bodies of rock or ample), the term lithodemic (see Article 27) is used. The ad-unconsolidated materials of the Earth’s crust into units on the jective stratigraphic is also used in a broader sense to referbasis of their inherent properties or attributes. to those procedures derived from stratigraphy that are now A stratigraphic code or guide is a formulation of current applied to all classes of earth materials.views on stratigraphic principles and procedures designed to An assumption made in the material that follows is thatpromote standardized classification and formal nomencla- the reader has some degree of familiarity with basic prin-ture of rock materials. It provides the basis for formalization of ciples of stratigraphy as outlined, for example, by Dunbarthe language used to denote rock units and their spatial and and Rodgers (1957), Weller (1960), Shaw (1964), Matthewstemporal relations. To be effective, a code must be widely ac- (1974), Blatt et al. (1990), Boggs (2001), or the Interna-cepted and used; geologic organizations and journals may adopt tional Stratigraphic Guide (ISSC, 1976, 1994).its recommendations for nomenclatural procedure. Becauseany code embodies only current concepts and principles, itshould have the flexibility to provide for both changes and RELATION OF CODES TO INTERNATIONAL GUIDEadditions to improve its relevance to new scientific problems. Any system of nomenclature must be sufficiently ex- Publication of the International Stratigraphic Guide byplicit to enable users to distinguish objects that are embraced the International Subcommission on Stratigraphic Classifi-in a class from those that are not. This stratigraphic code cation (ISSC, 1976), which is being endorsed and adoptedmakes no attempt to systematize structural, petrographic, throughout the world, played a part in prompting exami-paleontologic, or physiographic terms. Terms from these other nation of the American Stratigraphic Code and the decisionfields that are used as part of formal stratigraphic names to revise it.should be sufficiently general as to be unaffected by revisions The International Guide embodies principles and pro-of precise petrographic or other classifications. cedures that had been adopted by several national and re- The objective of a system of classification is to promote gional stratigraphic committees and commissions. More thanunambiguous communication in a manner not so restrictive two decades of effort by H. D. Hedberg and other membersas to inhibit scientific progress. To minimize ambiguity, a of the Subcommission (ISSC, 1976, p. VI, 1, 3) developedcode must promote recognition of the distinction between the consensus required for preparation of the Guide. Al-observable features (reproducible data) and inferences or though the Guide attempts to cover all kinds of rocks andinterpretations. Moreover, it should be sufficiently adaptable the diverse ways of investigating them, it is necessarilyand flexible to promote the further development of science. incomplete. Mechanisms are needed to stimulate individual Stratigraphic classification promotes understanding of innovations toward promulgating new concepts, principles,the geometry and sequence of rock bodies. The development and practices that subsequently may be found worthy ofof stratigraphy as a science required formulation of the Law inclusion in later editions of the Guide. The flexibility ofof Superposition to explain sequential stratal relations. Al- national and regional committees or commissions enablesthough superposition is not applicable to many igneous, meta- them to perform this function more readily than an inter-morphic, and tectonic rock assemblages, other criteria (such national subcommission, even while they adopt the Guideas cross-cutting relations and isotopic dating) can be used to as the international standard of stratigraphic classification.determine sequential arrangements among rock bodies. A guiding principle in preparing this Code has been to The term stratigraphic unit may be defined in several make it as consistent as possible with the Internationalways. Etymological emphasis requires that it be a stratum or Guide, and at the same time to foster further innovations toassemblage of adjacent strata distinguished by any or several meet the expanding and changing needs of earth scientists onof the many properties that rocks may possess (ISSC, 1976, the North American continent.p. 13; 1994, p. 13 – 14). The scope of stratigraphic classi-fication and procedures, however, suggests a broader defi-nition: a naturally occurring body of rock or rock materialdistinguished from adjoining bodies of rock on the basis ofsome stated property or properties. Commonly used prop- OVERVIEWerties include composition, texture, included fossils, mag-netic signature, radioactivity, seismic velocity, and age. Suf- CATEGORIES RECOGNIZEDficient care is required in defining the boundaries of a unit toenable others to distinguish the material body from those An attempt is made to strike a balance between servingadjoining it. Units based on one property commonly do not the needs of those in evolving specialties and resisting thecoincide with those based on another and, therefore, dis- proliferation of categories of units. Consequently, additional1556 North American Stratigraphic Code
  • 11. formal categories are recognized here relative to previous Table 1. Classes of Units Defined*codes or in the International Guide (ISSC, 1994). On theother hand, no special provision is made for formalizing cer- I. MATERIAL CATEGORIES BASED ON CONTENT OR PHYSICALtain kinds of units (deep oceanic, for example) that may be LIMITSaccommodated by available categories. Lithostratigraphic (22)* Four principal categories of units have previously been Lithodemic (31)**used widely in traditional stratigraphic work; these have been Magnetopolarity (44)termed lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, chronostratigraph- Biostratigraphic (48)ic, and geochronologic and are distinguished as follows: Pedostratigraphic (55) 1. A lithostratigraphic unit is a stratum or body of strata, Allostratigraphic (58)generally but not invariably layered, generally but not in-variably tabular, that conforms to the Law of Superposi- II. CATEGORIES EXPRESSING OR RELATED TO GEOLOGIC AGEtion and is distinguished and delimited on the basis of lithic A. Material Categories Used to Define Temporal Spanscharacteristics and stratigraphic position. Example: Navajo Chronostratigraphic (66)Sandstone. Polarity-Chronostratigraphic (83) 2. A biostratigraphic unit is a body of rock defined and B. Temporal (Non-Material) Categoriescharacterized by its fossil content. Example: Discoaster multi- Geochronologic (80)radiatus Interval Biozone. Polarity-Chronologic (88) 3. A chronostratigraphic unit is a body of rock estab- Diachronic (91)lished to serve as the material reference for all rocks formed Geochronometric (96)during the same span of time. Example: Devonian System. *Numbers in parentheses are the numbers of the Articles where units areEach boundary of a chronostratigraphic unit is synchronous. defined.Chronostratigraphy provides a means of organizing strata **Italicized categories are those introduced or developed since publication ofinto units based on their age relations. A chronostratigraphic the previous code (ACSN, 1970).body also serves as the basis for defining the specific intervalof geologic time, or geochronologic unit, represented by thereferent. 4. A geochronologic unit is a division of time distinguished Foremost properties of rocks are composition, texture,on the basis of the rock record preserved in a chronostrati- fabric, structure, and color, which together are designatedgraphic unit. Example: Devonian Period. lithic characteristics. These serve as the basis for distinguish- The first two categories are comparable in that they ing and defining the most fundamental of all formal units.consist of material units defined on the basis of content. The Such units based primarily on composition are divided intothird category differs from the first two in that it serves two categories (Henderson et al., 1980): lithostratigraphicprimarily as the standard for recognizing and isolating ma- (Article 22) and lithodemic (defined here in Article 31). Aterials of a specific age. The fourth, in contrast, is not a ma- lithostratigraphic unit obeys the Law of Superposition, whereasterial, but rather a conceptual, unit; it is a division of time. a lithodemic unit does not. A lithodemic unit is a defined bodyAlthough a geochronologic unit is not a stratigraphic body, of predominantly intrusive, highly metamorphosed, or in-it is so intimately tied to chronostratigraphy that the two tensely deformed rock that, because it is intrusive or hasare discussed properly together. lost primary structure through metamorphism or tectonism, Properties and procedures that may be used in distin- generally does not conform to the Law of Superposition.guishing geologic units are both diverse and numerous (ISSC, Recognition during the past several decades that rema-1976, p. 1, 96; 1994, p. 102 – 103; Harland, 1977, p. 230), but nent magnetism in rocks records the Earth’s past magneticall may be assigned to the following principal classes of cate- characteristics (Cox, et al., 1963) provides a powerful newgories used in stratigraphic classification (Table 1), which tool encompassed by magnetostratigraphy (McDougall,are discussed below: 1977; McElhinny, 1978). Magnetostratigraphy (Article 43) I. Material categories based on content, inherent at- is the study of remanent magnetism in rocks; it is the record tributes, or physical limits of the Earth’s magnetic polarity (or field reversals), dipole- II. Categories expressing or related to geologic age field-pole position (including apparent polar wander), the A. Material categories used to define temporal spans non-dipole component (secular variation), and field intensi- B. Temporal (non-material) categories ty. Polarity is of particular utility and is used to define a magnetopolarity unit (Article 44) as a body of rock identi- fied by its remanent magnetic polarity (ACSN, 1976; ISSC,Material Categories Based on Content or Physical Limits 1979). Empirical demonstration of uniform polarity does not necessarily have direct temporal connotations because The basic building blocks for most geologic work are the remanent magnetism need not be related to rock depo-rock bodies, defined on the basis of composition and related sition or crystallization. Nevertheless, polarity is a physicallithic characteristics, or on their physical, chemical, or biologic attribute that may characterize a body of rock.content or properties. Emphasis is placed on the relative ob- Biologic remains contained in, or forming, strata arejectivity and reproducibility of data used in defining units uniquely important in stratigraphic practice. First, they pro-within each category. vide the means of defining and recognizing material units North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature 1557
  • 12. based on fossil content (biostratigraphic units, Article 48). Geologic-Climate units, defined in the 1970 Code (ACSN,Second, the irreversibility of organic evolution makes it pos- 1970, p. 31), were abandoned in the 1983 Code because theysible to partition enclosing strata temporally. Third, biologic proved to be of dubious utility. Inferences regarding climateremains provide important data for the reconstruction of are subjective and too tenuous a basis for the definition ofancient environments of deposition. formal geologic units. Such inferences commonly are based Composition also is important in distinguishing pedo- on deposits assigned more appropriately to lithostratigraphicstratigraphic units. A pedostratigraphic unit is a body of or allostratigraphic units and may be expressed in terms ofrock that consists of one or more pedologic horizons devel- diachronic units (defined below).oped in one or more lithic units now buried by a formallydefined lithostratigraphic or allostratigraphic unit or units.A pedostratigraphic unit is the part of a buried soil charac- Categories Expressing or Related to Geologic Ageterized by one or more clearly defined soil horizons contain-ing pedogenically formed minerals and organic compounds. Time is a single, irreversible continuum. Nevertheless,Pedostratigraphic terminology is discussed below and in various categories of units are used to define intervals of geo-Article 55. logic time, just as terms having different bases, such as Paleo- Many upper Cenozoic, especially Quaternary, deposits lithic, Renaissance, and Elizabethan, are used to designateare distinguished and delineated on the basis of content, for specific periods of human history. Different temporal cate-which lithostratigraphic classification is appropriate. How- gories are established to express intervals of time distin-ever, others are delineated on the basis of criteria other than guished in different ways.content. To facilitate the reconstruction of geologic history, Major objectives of stratigraphic classification are tosome compositionally similar deposits in vertical sequence provide a basis for systematic ordering of the time and spacemerit distinction as separate stratigraphic units because they relations of rock bodies and to establish a time frameworkare the products of different processes; others merit dis- for the discussion of geologic history. For such purposes,tinction because they are of demonstrably different ages. units of geologic time traditionally have been named to rep-Lithostratigraphic classification of these units is impractical resent the span of time during which a well-described se-and a new approach, allostratigraphic classification, is intro- quence of rock, or a chronostratigraphic unit, was depositedduced here and may prove applicable to older deposits as (‘‘time units based on material referents,’’ Figure 1). Thiswell. An allostratigraphic unit is a mappable body of rock procedure continues, to the exclusion of other possible ap-defined and identified on the basis of bounding disconti- proaches, to be standard practice in studies of Phanerozoicnuities (Article 58 and related Remarks). rocks. Despite admonitions in previous American codes andFigure 1. Relation ofgeologic time units to thekinds of referents onwhich most are based.1558 North American Stratigraphic Code

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