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Find Your Science at GSA
03 May 2010
GSA Release No. 10-23
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
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GSA Special Paper Provides Synthesized View of the Dynamic Ordovician Earth

Boulder, CO, USA - Spanning 44-million years, the Ordovician is a significant chapter in Earth’s history. A time of dynamic change among and on the major continents (in a far different configuration than what we know now), the Ordovician was characterized by wide oceans, warm near the surface but with cold, deep basins; explosive volcanism; two major positive isotope carbon excursions; both the great Ordovician biodiversification event and the Hirnantian mass extinction; glaciation; and long-term greenhouse conditions.

Editors Stanley C. Finney of California State University at Long Beach and William B.N. Berry of the University of California at Berkeley have synthesized the expertise of scientists from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, China, Russia, and Argentina to provide readers with detailed and up-to-date data, diagrams, and discussion on what Earth must have been like between 444 and 488 million years ago.

Ordovician rocks, including shales, richly fossiliferous carbonates, and glacial and glacio-marine siliciclastic sediments, are widespread on most continents. The recent finalization of a modern chronostratigraphic classification of the Ordovician system now facilitates high-resolution correlations, allowing for integrated, multidisciplinary research. The diverse chapters in this new GSA Special Paper address orogenesis, paleogeography, climate modeling, sedimentation, biodiversity, and isotopic excursions (including a focus on the “less conspicuous” Late Ordovician Guttenberg isotope carbon excursion); together they promote an integrated view of the Ordovician Earth system.

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, .

The Ordovician Earth System
Stanley C. Finney and William B.N. Berry (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 466
SPE466, 193 p., $60.00, GSA Member price $42.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2466-9