Stratigraphic standardization through the work of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) is actively refining the international chronostratigraphic scale. Several traditional European-based stages have been replaced with new subdivisions that allow global correlation.
New stratigraphically meaningful linear age dates and improved insights in processing methods for extracting such high-precision age assignments improve age assignments of key geologic stage boundaries and other global correlation horizons.
Statistical techniques of compiling integrated linear scales within zones and stages are maturing.
Orbital tuning is greatly refining Neogene, Paleogene and part of Mesozoic geochronology.
Anticipated advances in the Geologic Time Scale during the few years include: - A Planetary scale and a geologically realistic Precambrian scale - Formal definition of all Phanerozoic stage boundaries. - Orbital tuning of polarity chrons, fossil and physical events for entire Cenozoic and Cretaceous. - A detailed database of high-resolution radiometric ages with "best practice" procedures. - Full error analysis, monitor ages and conversions. - Resolving age dating controversies (e.g. zircon reworking and statistics). - Improved dating of several 'neglected' intervals (e.g. Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous). - Detailed integrated stratigraphy for Upper Paleozoic through Lower Mesozoic.
The TS-Creator visualization package lets the user create onscreen and downloadable charts of any portion of the geologic time scale with a choice of bio-magneto-chemo-sequence and other events and trends of Earth History (see www.stratigraphy.org).