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Status of Stratigraphy Research in China

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Scientific research and productive practice for earth history are inseparable from the accurate stratigraphic framework and time framework. Establishing the globally unified, precise and reliable chronostratigraphic series and geological time series is the major goal of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). Under the leadership of the ICS, the countries around the world have carried out research on the Global Standard Stratotype‐section and Points (GSSPs) for the boundaries of chronostratigraphic systems. In the current International Chronostratigraphic Chart (ICC), 65 GSSPs have been erected in the Phanerozoic Eonothem, and one has yet been erected in the Precambrian Eonothem. Based on the progress of research on stratigraphy especially that from its subcommissions, the ICS is constantly revising the ICC, and will publish a new International Stratigraphic Guide in 2020. After continual efforts and broad international cooperation of Chinese stratigraphers, 10 GSSPs within the Phanerozoic Eonothem have been approved and ratified to erect in China by the ICS and IUGS. To establish the standards for stratigraphic division and correlation of China, with the support from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the China Geological Survey, Chinese stratigraphers have carried out research on the establishment of Stages in China. A total of 102 stages have been defined in the “Regional Chronostratigraphic Chart of China (geologic time)”, in which 59 stages were studied in depth. In 2014, the “Stratigraphic Chart of China” was compiled, with the essential contents as follows: the correlation between international chronostratigraphy and regional chronostratigraphy of China (geologic time), the distributive status of lithostratigraphy, the characteristics of geological ages, the biostratigraphic sequence, the magnetostratigraphy, the geological events and eustatic sea‐level change during every geological stage. The “Stratigraphical Guide of China and its Explanation (2014)” was also published. Chinese stratigraphers have paid much attention to stratigraphic research in south China, northeast China, north China and northwest China and they have made great achievements in special research on stratigraphy, based on the 1:1000000, 1:250000, 1:200000 and 1:50000 regional geological survey projects. Manifold new stratigraphic units were discovered and established by the regional geological surveys, which are helpful to improve the regional chronostratigraphic series of China. On the strength of the investigation in coastal and offshore areas, the status of marine strata in China has been expounded. According to the developing situation of international stratigraphy and the characteristics of Chinese stratigraphic work, the contrast relation between regional stratigraphic units of China and GSSPs will be established in the future, which will improve the application value of GSSPs and the standard of regional stratigraphic division and correlation. In addition, the study of stratigraphy of the Precambrian, terrestrial basins and erogenic belts will be strengthened, the Stratigraphic Chart of China will be improved, the typical stratigraphic sections in China will be protected and the applied study of stratigraphy in the fields of oil and gas, solid minerals, etc. will be promoted. On the ground of these actions, stratigraphic research will continue to play a great role in the social and economic development of China.
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Keywords: China; Stratigraphy; process; research; status

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2016

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