Chronozone or chron is a term used for a time interval in chronostratigraphy, defined by events such as geomagnetic reversals (magnetozones), or based on the presence of specific fossils (biozone or biochronozone). According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the term "chronozone" refers to the rocks formed during a particular time period, while "chron" refers to that time period.
|Segments of rock (strata) in chronostratigraphy||Time spans in geochronology||Notes to|
|Eonothem||Eon||4 total, half a billion years or more|
|Erathem||Era||10 defined, several hundred million years|
|System||Period||22 defined, tens to ~one hundred million years|
|Series||Epoch||34 defined, tens of millions of years|
|Stage||Age||99 defined, millions of years|
|Chronozone||Chron||subdivision of an age, not used by the ICS timescale|
Identification and acceptance of chronozones as useful markers or benchmarks of time in the rock record, are non-hierarchical in that chronozones do not need to correspond across geographic or geologic boundaries, nor be equal in length (despite an early constraint that one be defined as smaller than a geological stage). An early use was hierarchical in that Harland et al. (1989) used "chronozone" for the slice of time smaller than a faunal stage defined in biostratigraphy. The ICS has superseded this usage.
The key factor in designating an internationally acceptable chronozone is whether the overall fossil column is clear, unambiguous, and widespread. Some accepted chronozones contain others, and certain larger chronozones have been designated which span whole defined geological time units, both large and small. For example, the chronozone Pliocene is a subset of the chronozone Neogene, and the chronozone Pleistocene is a subset of the chronozone Quaternary.
- Cohen, K.M.; Finney, S.; Gibbard, P.L. (2015), International Chronostratigraphic Chart (PDF), International Commission on Stratigraphy.
- "Magnetostratigraphic polarity units" International Commission on Stratigraphy
- An early use in Harland, W.B., Armstrong, R.L., Cox, A.V., Craig, L.E., Smith, A.G., and Smith, D.G. (1989) A Geologic Time Scale Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge
- Gehling, James; Jensen, Sören; Droser, Mary; Myrow, Paul; Narbonne, Guy (March 2001). "Burrowing below the basal Cambrian GSSP, Fortune Head, Newfoundland". Geological Magazine. 138 (2): 213–218. doi:10.1017/S001675680100509X. 1.
- Hedberg, H.D., (editor), International stratigraphic guide: A guide to stratigraphic classification, terminology, and procedure, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1976
- International Stratigraphic Chart from the International Commission on Stratigraphy
- USA National Park Service
- Washington State University
- Web Geological Time Machine
- Eon or Aeon, Math Words - An alphabetical index
- The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP): overview
- Chart of The Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSP): chart
- Geotime chart displaying geologic time periods compared to the fossil record