Earth:Wenlock epoch

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Short description
2nd Series (Epoch) of the Silurian
Wenlock
433.4 ± 0.8 – 427.4 ± 0.5 Ma
Chronology
Silurian graphical timeline
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Subdivision of the Silurian according to the ICS, as of 2021.[3]
Vertical axis scale: millions of years ago.
Etymology
Name formalityFormal
Name ratified1980[4]
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Definition
Chronological unitEpoch
Stratigraphic unitSeries
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionImprecise. Currently placed between acritarch biozone 5 and last appearance of Pterospathodus amorphognathoides. See Llandovery for more info.
Lower boundary definition candidatesA conodont boundary (Ireviken datum 2) which is close to the murchisoni graptolite biozone.
Lower boundary GSSP candidate section(s)None
Lower boundary GSSPHughley Brook, Apedale, United Kingdom
52°34′52″N 2°38′20″W / 52.5811°N 2.6389°W / 52.5811; -2.6389
GSSP ratified1980[4]
Upper boundary definitionFAD of the Graptolite Saetograptus (Colonograptus) varians
Upper boundary GSSPPitch Coppice, Ludlow, United Kingdom
52°21′33″N 2°46′38″W / 52.3592°N 2.7772°W / 52.3592; -2.7772
GSSP ratified1980[4]

The Wenlock (sometimes referred to as the Wenlockian) is the second epoch of the Silurian. It is preceded by the Llandovery epoch and followed by the Ludlow epoch. Radiometric dates constrain the Wenlockian between 433.4 and 427.4 million years ago.[5]

Naming and history

The Wenlock is named after Wenlock Edge, an outcrop of rocks near the town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire (West Midlands, United Kingdom ).[6] The name was first used in the term "Wenlock and Dudley rocks" by Roderick Murchison in 1834 to refer to the limestones and underlying shales that underlay what he termed the "Ludlow rocks".[7] He later modified this term to simply the "Wenlock rocks" in his book, The Silurian System in 1839.[8]

Definition and subdivision

The Wenlock's beginning is defined by the lower boundary (or GSSP) of the Sheinwoodian. The end is defined as the base (or GSSP) of the Gorstian.[9]

The Wenlock is divided into the older Sheinwoodian and the younger Homerian stage. The Sheinwoodian lasted from 433.4 to 430.5 million years ago. The Homerian lasted from 430.5 to 427.4 million years ago.[5]

References

  1. Jeppsson, L.; Calner, M. (2007). "The Silurian Mulde Event and a scenario for secundo—secundo events". Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 93 (02): 135–154. doi:10.1017/S0263593300000377. 
  2. Munnecke, A.; Samtleben, C.; Bickert, T. (2003). "The Ireviken Event in the lower Silurian of Gotland, Sweden-relation to similar Palaeozoic and Proterozoic events". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 195 (1): 99–124. doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00304-3. 
  3. "Chart/Time Scale". International Commission on Stratigraphy. http://www.stratigraphy.org/index.php/ics-chart-timescale. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Holland, C. (1982). "The State of Silurian Stratigraphy". Episodes 1982: 21-23. https://stratigraphy.org/gssps/files/sheinwoodian-ludfordian.pdf. Retrieved 11 December 2020. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "International Chronostratigraphic Chart 2013/01". International Commission on Stratigraphy. http://www.stratigraphy.org/ICSchart/ChronostratChart2013-01.pdf. 
  6. Gradstein, Felix M.; Ogg, James G.; Smith, Alan G. (2004). A Geologic Time Scale 2004. ISBN 9780521786737. 
  7. Murchison R.I. (1833–1834). "On the Structure and Classification of the Transition Rocks of Shropshire, Herefordshire and part of Wales and on the Lines of Disturbance which have affected that Series of Deposits, including the Valley of Elevation of Woolhope". Proceedings of the Geological Society of London 2 (33): 14. https://archive.org/details/proceedings218331838geol. 
  8. Murchison R.I. (1839). The Silurian System. Murray. pp. 208. https://books.google.com/books?id=cKlAAAAAcAAJ&q=murchison+wenlock+limestone&pg=PA209. 
  9. The Geologic Time Scale 2012. Elsevier Science Ltd. 14 August 2012. ISBN 978-0-444-59425-9.