Age (Ma)
Quaternary Pleistocene Gelasian younger
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 3.600–2.58
Zanclean 5.333–3.600
Miocene Messinian 7.246–5.333
Tortonian 11.62–7.246
Serravallian 13.82–11.62
Langhian 15.97–13.82
Burdigalian 20.44–15.97
Aquitanian 23.03–20.44
Paleogene Oligocene Chattian older
Subdivision of the Neogene Period
according to the IUGS, [v2014/02].

The Zanclean is the lowest stage or earliest age on the geologic time scale of the Pliocene. It spans the time between 5.332 ± 0.005 Ma and 3.6 ± 0.005 Ma (million years ago). It is preceded by the Messinian age of the Miocene epoch, and followed by the Piacenzian age.

The Zanclean can be correlated with regionally used stages, such as the Tabianian or Dacian of Central Europe. It also corresponds to the late Hemphillian to mid-Blancan North American Land Mammal Ages. In California, the Zanclean roughly corresponds to the mid-Delmontian Californian Stage of from 7.5 To 2.9 Ma ago.[1]


The Zanclean stage was introduced by Giuseppe Seguenza in 1868. It is named after Zancle, the pre-Roman name for the Italian city of Messina on Sicily.

The base of the Zanclean (and the Pliocene series) lies with the top of magnetic chronozone Cr3 (about 100,000 years before the Thvera normal subchronozone C3n.4n). The base is also close to the extinction level of the calcareous nanoplankton species Triquetrorhabdulus rugosus (the base of biozone CN10b) and the first appearance of nanoplankton Ceratolithus acutus. The GSSP for the Zanclean is in the vicinity of the ruins of the ancient city of Heraclea Minoa on Sicily, Italy.[2]

The top of the Zanclean stage (the base of the Piacenzian stage) is at the base of magnetic chronozone C2An (the base of the Gauss chronozone and at the extinction of the planktonic forams Globorotalia margaritae and Pulleniatina primalis.

Events of the Zanclean



  1. Allaby, Ailsa; Michael Allaby (1999). "Delmontian". A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. Retrieved 10 Dec 2009. A stage in the Upper Tertiary of the west coast of N. America
  2. Van Couvering et al. (2000)
  3. A high-resolution stratigraphic framework for the latest Messinian events in the Mediterranean area. vol. 5, nos. 3-4, pp. 323-342, text-figures 1-9, 2008. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2009.


Wikisource has original works on the topic: Cenozoic#Neogene

External links

Neogene Period
Miocene Pliocene
Aquitanian | Burdigalian
Langhian | Serravallian
Tortonian | Messinian
Zanclean | Piacenzian

Coordinates: 37°23′30″N 13°16′50″E / 37.3917°N 13.2806°E / 37.3917; 13.2806

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