The Chattian is, in the geologic timescale, the younger of two ages or upper of two stages of the Oligocene epoch/series. It spans the time between 28.1 and 23.03 Ma. The Chattian is preceded by the Rupelian and is followed by the Aquitanian (the lowest stage of the Miocene).[2]

Age (Ma)
Neogene Miocene Aquitanian younger
Paleogene Oligocene Chattian 23.0 27.8
Rupelian 27.8 33.9
Eocene Priabonian 33.9 37.8
Bartonian 37.8 41.2
Lutetian 41.2 47.8
Ypresian 47.8 56.0
Paleocene Thanetian 56.0 59.2
Selandian 59.2 61.6
Danian 61.6 66.0
Cretaceous Upper/
Maastrichtian older
Subdivision of the Paleogene Period
according to the ICS, as of 2019.[1]

Stratigraphic definition

The Chattian was introduced by Austrian palaeontologist Theodor Fuchs in 1894. Fuchs named the stage after the Chatti, a Germanic tribe. The original type locality was near the German city of Kassel.

The base of the Chattian is at the extinction of the foram genus Chiloguembelina (which is also the base of foram biozone P21b). An official GSSP for the Chattian stage was ratified in October of 2016.

The top of the Chattian stage (which is the base of the Aquitanian stage, Miocene series and Neogene system) is at the first appearance of foram species Paragloborotalia kugleri, the extinction of calcareous nanoplankton species Reticulofenestra bisecta (which forms the base of nanoplankton biozone NN1), and the base of magnetic C6Cn.2n.

The Chattian is coeval with regionally used stages or zones like the upper Avernian European mammal zone (it spans the Mammal Paleogene zones 30 through 26 and part of 25.[3]), the upper Geringian and lower Arikareean mammal zones of North America, most of the Deseadan mammal zone of South America, the upper Hsandgolian and whole Tabenbulakian mammal zone of Asia, the upper Kiscellian and lower Egerian Paratethys stages of Central and eastern Europe, the upper Janjukian and lower Longfordian Australian regional stages, part of the Zemorrian Californian stage and Chickasawhayan regional stage of the eastern US.

Volcanic event

During the Chattian the largest known single-event volcanic eruption occurred: the Fish Canyon eruption of La Garita with a magnitude of 9.2 and VEI of 8.[4] It has been dated to 27.51 Ma ago.[5]


  1. "International Chronostratigraphic Chart". International Commission on Stratigraphy.
  2. International Commission on Stratigraphy 2017
  3. Alroy, John. "Mammal Paleogene zones". p. The Paleobiology Database. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  4. Mason et al. (2004)
  5. Lanphere & Baadsgaard (2001)


  • Fuchs, T.; 1894: Tertiaerfossilien aus den kohlenführenden Miocaenablagerungen der Umgebung von Krapina und Radaboj und über die Stellung der sogenannten "Aquitanischen Stufe", Königlich- Ungarische Geologische Anstalt, Mittheilungen und Jahrbuch 10, p. 163-175. (in German)
  • Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G.; 2004: A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press.
  • Lanphere, M.A. & Baadsgaard, H.; 2001: Precise K–Ar, 40Ar/39Ar, Rb–Sr and U/Pb mineral ages from the 27.5 Ma Fish Canyon Tuff reference standard, Chemical Geology 175(3–4), pp 653–671.
  • Mason, B.G.; Pyle, D.M. & Oppenheimer, C.; 2004: The size and frequency of the largest explosive eruptions on Earth, Bulletin of Volcanology 66(8), pp 735–748.
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