The anthropocene in geology

The anthropocene in geology

Jan ZALASIEWICZ

Professor and Course Director for Geography-Geology and Geology with Palaeobiology degrees in the Geology Department of the University of Leicester. Jan Zalasiewicz is a specialist in mudrock processes (sedimentation, diagenesis and low-grade metamorphism) and early Palaeozoic and Quaternary stratigraphic analysis, including study of the Anthropocene concept. His recent publications include (with M. Williams) The Goldilocks Planet: An Earth History of Climate Change, Oxford University Press, 2012, and The Planet in a Pebble: a Journey through Earth History, Oxford University Press, 2010.

 

SummaryStratigraphic geology arose as an ever more sophisticated classification of rock units, mainly to extract resources, and of time and events in Earth history. The former played a large role Earth’s recent transformation by humans, and the latter may be used to gauge the scale of change, by comparing present change (all around us) with changes in the deep past (preserved in strata). The evidence to date suggests that human perturbation is considerable on a planetary scale.

 

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Cosmopolis, 2015/1
pp. 8-12