In the geologic timescale, the Kimmeridgian is an age in the Late Jurassic epoch and a stage in the Upper Jurassic series. It spans the time between 157.3 ± 1.0 Ma and 152.1 ± 0.9 Ma (million years ago). The Kimmeridgian follows the Oxfordian and precedes the Tithonian.[2]

157.3 – 152.1 ± 0.9 Ma
Name formalityFormal
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitAge
Stratigraphic unitStage
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionFAD of the Ammonite Pictonia baylei
Lower boundary GSSPFlodigarry, Skye, Scotland, UK
57°39′40″N 6°14′44″W / 57.6610°N 6.2455°W / 57.6610; -6.2455
GSSP ratified2021[2]
Upper boundary definitionNot formally defined
Upper boundary definition candidates
Upper boundary GSSP candidate section(s)

Stratigraphic definitionEdit

The Kimmeridgian stage takes its name from the village of Kimmeridge on the Dorset coast, England. The name was introduced into the literature by French geologist Alcide d'Orbigny in 1842.[3] The Kimmeridge Clay Formation takes its name from the same type location (although this formation extends from the Kimmeridgian stage of the Upper Jurassic into the Lower Cretaceous). It is the source for about 95% of the petroleum in the North Sea.[citation needed]

Historically, the term Kimmeridgian has been used in two different ways. The base of the interval is the same but the top was defined by British stratigraphers as the base of the Portlandian (sensu anglico) whereas in France the top was defined as the base of the Tithonian (sensu gallico). The differences have not yet been fully resolved; As of 2004 Tithonian is the uppermost stage of the Jurassic in the timescale of the ICS.[4]

The base of the Kimmeridgian is at the first appearance of ammonite species Pictonia baylei in the stratigraphic column.[5] The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Kimmeridgian is the Flodigarry section at Staffin Bay on the Isle of Skye, Scotland,[6] which was ratified in 2021. The boundary is defined by the first appearance of ammonites marking the boreal Bauhini Zone and the subboreal Baylei Zone.[7] The top of the Kimmeridgian (the base of the Tithonian) is at the first appearance of ammonite species Hybonoticeras hybonotum. It also coincides with the top of magnetic anomaly M22An.[5]


The Kimmeridgian is sometimes[weasel words] subdivided into Upper and Lower substages.[citation needed] In the Tethys domain, the Kimmeridgian contains seven ammonite biozones:[citation needed]



  1. ^ "International Chronostratigraphic Chart" (PDF). International Commission on Stratigraphy.
  2. ^ a b "Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point". International Commission of Stratigraphy. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  3. ^ Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G.; Schmitz, M.D.; Ogg, G.M. (editors) (2012). The Geologic Timescale 2012 (volume 1). Elsevier. p. 745. ISBN 978-0-44-459390-0.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ INTERNATIONAL SUBCOMMISSION ON JURASSIC STRATIGRAPHY, Newsletter 31, Edited by Nicol Morton and Paul Bown, August 2004
  5. ^ a b "Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy". GSSP Table - All Periods. International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  6. ^ BARSKI, Marcin (2018-09-06). "Dinoflagellate cyst assemblages across the Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian boundary (Upper Jurassic) at Flodigarry, Staffin Bay, Isle of Skye, Scotland – a proposed GSSP for the base of the Kimmeridgian". Volumina Jurassica. XV (1): 51–62. doi:10.5604/01.3001.0012.4594. ISSN 1731-3708.
  7. ^ "International Commission on Stratigraphy-Subcommission on Jurassic Stratigraphy". Retrieved 2021-04-09.


  • Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G.; 2004: A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press.
  • Thurmann, J.; 1832: Sur Les Soulèvemens Jurassiques Du Porrentruy: Description Géognostique de la Série Jurassique et Théorie Orographique du Soulèvement, Mémoires de la Société d'histoire naturelle de Strasbourg 1: pp 1–84, F. G. Levrault, Paris.(in French)

External linksEdit