The Priabonian Stratotype

The Priabonian Stratotype: model for all the world

The Priabonian stratotype is an important reference point for geologists and paleontologists who use it to identify the age of analogous rocks all over the world. It is also an appropriate example and model for teaching purposes.

The term “Priabonian” can be attributed to Ernest Munier-Chalmas ed Albert De Lapparent (pictured below), two French geologists who in 1893 proposed its institution.

The Priabonian age began 37.2 ± 0.1 Ma (million years) ago and ended 33.9 ± 0.1 Ma ago, in the Late Eocene period.

Priabonian rock is often brittle and subject to alteration. It consists of marl, which is a mixture of limestone and clay that is the result of physical-chemical alteration of basalt from previous eras.

The name comes from the Italian village of Priabona in Monte di Malo Municipality, in Vicenza Province, in the foothills of the Lessini Orientali Mountains. The Priabonian strata are well represented in terms of both quality and stratigraphy and reach thicknesses of up to 90 metres.

The Priabonian stratotype was officially recognised and adopted by the scientific community in 1968 (Colloque sur l’Éocène, Paris).