Subdivisions of the Quaternary System
Age (Ma)
Notes and references[1][2]
Subdivision of the Quaternary Period according to the ICS, as of May 2019.[1]

For the Holocene, dates are relative to the year 2000 (e.g. Greenlandian began 11,700 years before 2000). For the beginning of the Northgrippian a date of 8,236 years before 2000 has been set.[2] The Meghalayan has been set to begin 4,250 years before 2000.[1]

'Chibanian' and 'Tarantian' are informal, unofficial names proposed to replace the equally informal, unofficial 'Middle Pleistocene' and 'Upper Pleistocene' subseries/subepochs respectively.

In Europe and North America, the Holocene is subdivided into Preboreal, Boreal, Atlantic, Subboreal, and Subatlantic stages of the Blytt–Sernander time scale. There are many regional subdivisions for the Upper or Late Pleistocene; usually these represent locally recognized cold (glacial) and warm (interglacial) periods. The last glacial period ends with the cold Younger Dryas substage.

The Holocene ( -/ HOH-loh-)[3][4] is the current geological epoch. It began approximately 11,650 cal years before present, after the last glacial period, which concluded with the Holocene glacial retreat.[5] The Holocene and the preceding Pleistocene[6] together form the Quaternary period. The Holocene has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1. It is considered by some to be an interglacial period within the Pleistocene Epoch.[7]

The Holocene corresponds with rapid proliferation, growth and impacts of the human species worldwide, including all of its written history, technological revolutions, development of major civilizations, and overall significant transition towards urban living in the present. Human impacts on modern-era Earth and its ecosystems may be considered of global significance for future evolution of living species, including approximately synchronous lithospheric evidence, or more recently hydrospheric and atmospheric evidence of human impacts. In July 2018, the International Union of Geological Sciences split the Holocene epoch into three distinct subsections, Greenlandian (11,700 years ago to 8,326 years ago), Northgrippian (8,326 years ago to 4,200 years ago) and Meghalayan (4,200 years ago to the present), as proposed by International Commission on Stratigraphy.[8] The boundary stratotype of Meghalayan is a speleothem in Mawmluh cave in India,[9] and the global auxiliary stratotype is an ice core from Mount Logan in Canada.[10]

The name Holocene comes from the Ancient Greek words ὅλος (holos, whole or entire) and καινός (kainos, new), meaning "entirely recent".[11][12]


The word is formed from two words. Holos is the Greek word for "whole." "Cene" comes from the Greek word kainos, meaning "new." The concept is that this epoch is "entirely new."[12][13] The suffix '-cene' is used for all the seven epochs of the Cenozoic Era.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Holoseen
asturianu: Holocenu
azərbaycanca: Holosen
বাংলা: হলোসিন
Bân-lâm-gú: Oân-sin-sè
башҡортса: Голоцен
беларуская: Галацэн
български: Холоцен
bosanski: Holocen
brezhoneg: Holosen
català: Holocè
čeština: Holocén
Cymraeg: Holosen
dansk: Holocæn
davvisámegiella: Holosena
Deutsch: Holozän
eesti: Holotseen
español: Holoceno
Esperanto: Holoceno
euskara: Holozeno
فارسی: هولوسن
français: Holocène
Frysk: Holoseen
galego: Holoceno
한국어: 홀로세
हिन्दी: नूतनतम युग
hrvatski: Holocen
Bahasa Indonesia: Holosen
italiano: Olocene
עברית: הולוקן
ქართული: ჰოლოცენი
қазақша: Голоцен
Кыргызча: Голоцен
Latina: Holocaenum
latviešu: Holocēns
Lëtzebuergesch: Holozen
lietuvių: Holocenas
magyar: Holocén
македонски: Холоцен
مازِرونی: هولوسن
Bahasa Melayu: Holosen
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Holocene
Nederlands: Holoceen
日本語: 完新世
Nordfriisk: Holozän
norsk: Holocen
norsk nynorsk: Holocen
occitan: Olocèn
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Golotsen
پنجابی: ہولوسین
Plattdüütsch: Holozän
polski: Holocen
português: Holoceno
română: Holocen
русский: Голоцен
саха тыла: Голоцен
Scots: Holocene
Seeltersk: Holozän
shqip: Holoceni
Simple English: Holocene
slovenčina: Holocén
slovenščina: Holocen
српски / srpski: Холоцен
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Holocen
Sunda: Holosén
suomi: Holoseeni
svenska: Holocen
Türkçe: Holosen
українська: Голоцен
Tiếng Việt: Thế Holocen
文言: 全新世
West-Vlams: Holoceen
粵語: 全新世
中文: 全新世