Friday, October 31, 2008

A brief lesson in history of Geology - The 1st GSSP

GSSP's are type sections that expose a certain time slice in the geological history such as the boundary between two systems like the Triassic and the Jurassic, for instance. The onset of a new time interval is usually marked by the first appearance of a characteristic index fossil.

During a student field trip in Summer 2006, I visited the type locality of the Silurian-Devonian boundary (Klonk, Barrandian area, southwest of Prague, Czech Republic; 49.855°N, 13.792°E). With my untrained undergraduate-brain, I anticipated the most spectulalar outcrop ever and already planned my future life without washing my eyes.

This is what my blessed eyes beheld:
The Silurian-Devonian GSSP, somewhere on the upper hill, i guess.

This is the first established GSSP ratified in 1972. By that time, Czech geologists already recognised the "geopolitical" importance of such a "geo-site". It is said, that in the course of the evaluation of canditates (there are several suitable localities all over the world), the regional people celebrated the inspection of the outcrop by members of the stratigraphic commission with a solid party. Or better a carousal with Beer, Bohemian Cuisine and gorgeous waiters. For some reason, the Commission picked the Bohemian section as type section for this quite important GSSP.

The memorial plaque.

Click here for more information, provided by the International Commission on Stratigraphy.

1 comment:

georgeo said...

stratigraphy is a bitch, and then you die...

on the other hand it is a beautiful confusion of almost knowing exactly where, why and when you are

georgeo - Moscow ID