Aquitanian (stage)

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Age (Ma)
Quaternary Pleistocene Gelasian younger
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 3.600–2.58
Zanclean 5.333–3.600
Miocene Messinian 7.246–5.333
Tortonian 11.62–7.246
Serravallian 13.82–11.62
Langhian 15.97–13.82
Burdigalian 20.44–15.97
Aquitanian 23.03–20.44
Paleogene Oligocene Chattian older
Subdivision of the Neogene Period
according to the IUGS, [v2014/02].

The Aquitanian is, in the ICS' geologic timescale, the oldest age or lowest stage in the Miocene. It spans the time between 23.03 ± 0.05 Ma and 20.43 ± 0.05 Ma (million years ago) and is a dry, cooling period.[1] The Aquitanian succeeds the Chattian (the youngest age of the Oligocene) and precedes the Burdigalian.

The Aquitanian age overlaps with the Harrisonian, Agenian, Pareora, Landon, Otaian, and Waitakian ages from various regional timescales.

Stratigraphic definition

The Aquitanian stage was named after the region Aquitaine in France and was introduced in scientific literature by Swiss stratigrapher Karl Mayer-Eymar in 1858.

The base of the Aquitanian (also the base of the Miocene series and the Neogene system) is defined as the place in the stratigraphic column at the first appearance of foram species Paragloborotalia kugleri, the extinction of calcareous nannoplankton species Reticulofenestra bisecta (which forms the base of nannoplankton biozone NN1), and the base of magnetic chronozone C6Cn.2n. The official GSSP for the Aquitanian stage lies in the Lemme-Carrosio section near the small village of Carrosio (north of Genoa) in northern Italy.[2]

The top of the Aquitanian stage (the base of the Burdigalian) is at the first appearance of foram species Globigerinoides altiaperturus and the top of magnetic chronozone C6An.



  1. Edward Petuch, Ph.D. Florida Atlantic University, Department of Geosciences
  2. The Aquitanian GSSP was established by Steininger et al. (1997)


  • Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G.; 2004: A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press.
  • Mayer-Eymar, K.; 1858: Versuch einer neuen Klassifikation der Tertiär-Gebilde Europa’s, Verhandlungen der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft 17–19 (August 1857), p. 70–71 & 165–199. (German)
  • Steininger, F.F.; Aubry, M.P.; Berggren, W.A.; Biolzi, M.; Borsetti, A.M.; Cartlidge, J.E.; Cati, F.; Corfield, R.; Gelati, R.; Iaccarino, S.; Napoleone, C.; Ottner, F.; Rogl, F.; Roetzel, R.; Spezzaferri, S.; Tateo, F.; Villa, G. & Zevenboom, D.; 1997: The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Neogene, Episodes 20(1), p. 23-28.

External links

Neogene Period
Miocene Pliocene
Aquitanian | Burdigalian
Langhian | Serravallian
Tortonian | Messinian
Zanclean | Piacenzian

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