The chronostratigraphy of the anthropocene in southern Africa: Current status and potential

N. L. Rose, S. D. Turner, L. E. Unger, C. J. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The process for the formal ratification of the proposed Anthropocene Epoch involves the identification of a globally isochronous stratigraphic signal to mark its starting point. The search for a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP), a unique reference sequence that would be used to fix the start of the epoch, is in progress but none of the candidate sections are located in Africa. We assessed the currently available stratigraphic evidence for the possible markers of the Anthropocene in southern Africa and found that, although most markers have been identified in the region, the robustly dated, high resolution records required for the GSSP are very sparse. We then assessed the extent and stratigraphic resolution of a range of potential natural archives and conclude that a small number of permanent lakes, as well as marine sediments, corals and peats from selected locations in southern Africa could provide the temporal resolution required. With sufficient chronological control and multi-proxy analyses, one of these archives could provide a useful auxiliary stratotype thereby helping to confirm the global reach, and extending the utility, of the selected Anthropocene GSSP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1106
Number of pages14
JournalSouth African Journal of Geology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'The chronostratigraphy of the anthropocene in southern Africa: Current status and potential'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this