Geologic Time Scale: Cambrian Period

The Cambrian Period is the first geologic time period of the Paleozoic Era in the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian started after the end of the Precambrian 538 million years ago. When the Cambrian Period came to the end about 485 million years ago starting the Ordovician.

Established by Adam Sedgwick the name Cambrian stems from the “Cambrian series” meaning Cambria which is Latin for ‘Cymru’ translating to Wales.

“Cambrian Stage 10” Age/Stage

Furong: 489.5 to 485.4 million years ago

The last stage of he Furongian series and Cambrian Period is known as Stage 10. The 10th stage of the Cambrian has not been formally named by the International Commission on Statigraphy to date. There are a few local names, several authors favor the name “Lawsonian” after Lawson Cove, in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah. The lower part of the North American “Skullrockian Stage” corresponds roughly to the Cambrian Stage 10. 

Jiangshanian Age/Stage

Furong: 494.0 to 489.5 million years ago

The Jiangshanian Stage was named after Jiangshan, a city in China’s Zhejiang province. The Jiangshanian is the middle stage of the Furongian sies of the late Cambrian Period.

Paibian Age/Stage

Furong: 497.0 to 494.0 million years ago

The Paibian Stage was named after Paibi, a village in Hunan, China. It marks the begining of the Furong Series.

Guzhangian Age/Stage

Miaolingian: 500.5 to 497.0 million years ago

The Guzhangian Stage is the uppermost stage of the Miaolingian Series of the Cambrian. The name Guzhangian is derived from Guzhang County, Hunan Province, China.

Drumian Age/Stage

Miaolingian: 504.5 to 500.5 million years ago

The Drumian Stage is the middle stage of the Miaoling series and is named after the Drum Mountains.

Wuliuan Age/Stage

Miaolingian: 509.0 to 504.5 million years ago

The Wuliuan Stage’s name derives from the Wuliu Zengjiayan section of the Kaili formation, near Balang Village in the Miaoling Mountain, Guizhou, China.

“Cambrian Stage 4” Age/Stage

“Cambrian Series 2”: 514 to 509 million years ago

The Cambrian Stage 4 is still unnamed by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. The beginning of Cambrian Stage 4 has been tentatively correlated with the base of the European Leonian faunal stage and the base of the South China Duyunian faunal stage.

“Cambrian Stage 3” Age/Stage

“Cambrian Series 2”: 521 to 514 million years ago

The Cambrian Stage 3 is still unnamed by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. The stage approximately corresponds to the “Atdabanian“, which is used by geologists working in Siberia. The oldest trilobite is known from this time.

“Cambrian Stage 2” Age/Stage

Terreneuvian: 529 to 521 million years ago

The Cambrian Stage 2 is still unnamed by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. To date the ICS has not defined the upper nor lower boundary.

Fortunian Age/Stage

Terreneuvian: 538.8 to 529.0 million years ago

The Fortunian Age marks the beginning of the Cambrian Period, Paleozoic Era, and Phanerozoic Eon. It also marks the first two stages of the Terreneuvian series. The name is derived from a part of Burin Peninsula, the town of Fortune near the GSSP and Fourtune Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

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