Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt

Historische Geologie und Fazieskunde

International Geoscience Programme (IGCP)
New IGCP Project 652

Reading geologic time in Paleozoic rocks: the need for an integrated stratigraphy (2017 – 2021)

 IGCP 652


In February 2017 this new IGCP project was accepted which is a successor project of the former IGCP`s 580 and 596. Peter Königshof is a co-leader of this UNESCO project which is the third project co-organized by the head of the section.

Project leaders: Anne-Christine Da Silva (Belgium), David de Vleeschouwer (Germany), Shuang Dai (China), Peter Königshof (Germany), Michael T. Whalen (USA), LT Phuong Lan (Vietnam); Elise Nardin (France), Daniel R. Franco (Brazil)

Scope of the project: Major events punctuated the Paleozoic: ecological crises and diversifications, shifts in ocean chemistry, climatic changes, etc. One of the key-obstacles in understanding these events lays in the difficulty of providing precise estimates of the duration represented by a sequence of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. This lack of temporal precision severely hampers the evaluation of forcing mechanisms and rates of climatic, ecological or biogeochemical changes in the Paleozoic. It is therefore essential to first improve the Paleozoic timescale to then unravel the history of the Paleozoic Earth system.

Cyclostratigraphy is a powerful chronometer, based on the detection of the Milankovitch cycles in the sedimentary record. Those cycles result from periodic variations in the Earth-Sun system, affecting the distribution of solar energy over the Planet influencing Earth’s climate on time scales between 10 000 and 1000 000 years. Through the integration of this astronomical time scale with biostratigraphy and radio-isotopic dating, this project intends to document the environmental evolution during the Paleozoic with a focus on the Ordovician to Devonian (485 – 359 million years). It gathers participants (> 200) from all over the world (36 countries) and promotes the participation of young scientists and scientists from developing countries.

Further information is provided at:


Research Gate page:

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IGCP-652 Meeting  -  Reading time in Paleozoic sedimentary Rock - 12-19 September 2017 Bremen, Germany