Biostratigraphy is an important absolute dating technique

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Disciplines and Techniques. The Timescales project within Geoscience Australia maintains and develops geological timescales and fossil biozonations. It places particular emphasis on those parts of the stratigraphic column where economic resources are important. The Timescales project team also provides biostratigraphic expertise to other Geoscience Australia projects to help with detailed age and palaeoenvironmental assessments.

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Biostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy that uses fossils to establish relative ages of rock and correlate successions of sedimentary rocks within and between depositional basins. A biozone is an interval of geologic strata characterised by certain fossil taxa. These key index species should be relatively abundant, short-lived taxa that are easy to recognise and as geographically widespread as possible.

Widely used fossil groups include brachiopods, conodonts, dinoflagellate cysts, foraminifera, graptolites, nannofossil, spores and pollen and trilobites.

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Zonal schemes based on several different fossil groups can be used in parallel, and the zones can be calibrated to the absolute geological timescale using tie points to rocks which have been radio-isotopically dated. The geological timescale is one of the major achievements of geoscience. It has been developed by geologists over the past two centuries to describe and understand the history of the earth. Chronostratigraphic relative-time units, such as rock formations, biozones, and magnetostratigraphy, are calibrated against a chronometric scale an absolute age in years to build the timescale.

Absolute ages years before present are usually measured using radio-isotopic dating techniques and in the Cenozoic and Mesozoic can be calibrated against high resolution orbital forcing events that is, astronomical cycles. All Australian biozonation schemes have been or are being recalibrated to GTS and their relationships to it are stored in Geoscience Australia's Timescales Database. Geoscience Australia's Basin Biozonation and Stratigraphy Chart seriesprovides stratigraphic charts of Australian basins for download.

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Those with a publishing date of or later have been updated to GTS An 'Australian datapack' containing all these Australian biozonation schemes tied to the Geologic Time Scale has been pre-loaded into the public version of the TimeScale Creator software developed by Prof James Ogg and his colleagues at Purdue University.

This software allows the user to quickly produce timescale, biozonation and stratigraphic charts and figures for a chosen interval of time. An Australian Public Mappack has been created to load into the TimeScale Creator software, which provides regional biostratigraphy, detailed lithostratigraphy and oil and gas well information for numerous Australian sedimentary basins.

The VCEMP allows Geoscience Australia to leverage both internal and external expertise in microfossil taxonomy and biostratigraphy to document and define biozones, and improve the correlation between those zones and the geologic timescale. ly, experts from institutions including the British Geological Survey and the Palaeontological Institute Moscowhave worked with Geoscience Australia on focused research projects to deliver improved biozonation schemes and timescales to industry.

Biozonation and geological timescales The Timescales project within Geoscience Australia maintains and develops geological timescales and fossil biozonations. Conodont Biostratigraphy is an important absolute dating technique - Erraticodon patu.

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Planktonic foraminifera - Globigerina woodi. Foraminifera - Globigerinella digitata. Trilete spore - Microbaculispora trisina. Monosaccate pollen - Plicatipollenites sp. Trilete spore - Ruffordiaspora ludbrookiae. Dinoflagellate cyst - Oligosphaeridium pulcherrimum. Agnostid trilobite - Pentagnostus anabarensis. Agnostid trilobite - Ptychagnostus punctuosus.

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Condont element - Neospathodus bicuspidatus. Dinoflagellate cyst - Phoberocysta Neocomica.

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Biostratigraphy is an important absolute dating technique

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Biostratigraphy