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A part of paleontology concerned with the study of the conditions and deposition order of sedimentary rocks.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a branch of stratigraphy which studies the distribution of fossil remains of organisms in sedimentary deposits with the object of determining the relative age and the correlations between layers of the same age in different territories. The task of biostratigraphy is the elaboration of scales of the relative age of layers (in various degrees of detail and of various scopes, but in zonal layers in particular). The succession of biostratigraphic zones reflects the change in geological cross section of fossil remains from a group of extinct organisms of different taxonomic classes or their systems. Of special importance in the differentiation of zones, and above all of biozones, are groups of extinct organisms that had relatively short life-spans but that attained widespread distribution, significant abundance, and variety (for example, nummulites, graptolites, and dinosaurs). Zones are frequently based on stages in the evolution of certain rapidly changing groups of extinct organisms (for example, corals of the subclass Rugosa). The study of the remains of ancient microscopic organisms (micropaleontology), the quantity of which can be extremely large even in small specimens (for example, from deep chinks), is important for the goals of biostratigraphy. Remnants of planktonic organisms (foraminifers, algae, and others) that were carried for great distances by currents allow zones of great territorial expanse to be distinguished. Fossil remains of plant spores and pollen, which were carried for great distances by the wind, are important for correlating deposits of maritime or continental origin that are of the same age. Biostratigraphy makes broad use of the methods of paleoecology for reconstructing the conditions under which ancient organisms existed in order to distinguish complexes of organisms of the same age living in different conditions from complexes of organism of different ages living in similar conditions.


Menner, V. V. “Biostratigraficheskie osnovy sopostavleniia morskikh, lagunnykh i kontinental’nykh svit.” Tr. geologicheskogo instituta AN SSSR, 1962, issue 65.
Stratigraficheskaia klassifikalsiia, terminologiia i nomenklatura. Leningrad, 1965.
Stepanov, D. L. Printsipy i metody biostratigraficheskikh issledovanii. Leningrad, 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
From this work, a folio of the area was produced (Bastin and Williams 1914), as well as several other publications discussing the taxonomic and biostratigraphic significance of the faunas (e.g., Williams 1912a, b; 1913).
Biostratigraphic report, Paleo Environmental Associates, Inc., Eagle Glen Project--Phase III, Puente Formation, southern California.
murchisoni from the limestone of the megaslab, hitherto the most exact biostratigraphic marker.
The last occurrence of Rotalipora spp., and the occurrence of Mammites nodosoides (SCHLUTER) 80 m above the C-T boundary (Menoyo section; Wiedmann, 1979; Lamolda, 1979) are in agreement with the secondary biostratigraphic markers in the GSSP for the base of the Turonian of Pueblo (Kennedy et al., 2000).
The cyclostratigraphic correlation and indirect biostratigraphic data show that the gap at this boundary in central Saaremaa correlates with the top of the nilssoni Zone in the Central, Swedish-Latvian Confacies Belt.
The most thorough discussion of biostratigraphic information and chronostratigraphic relationships was given thirty years ago by Wilson and Majewske (1960).
The biostratigraphic studies involving planktonic foraminifera is used to assign relative age to the Mughal Kot Formation.
The hipparionine are abundantly found in the Middle Siwaliks and are considered to be a biostratigraphic indicator of the Late Miocene to Early Pliocene deposits of Pakistan (Barry et al., 2002; Badgley et al., 2005; Naseem et al., 2009; Wolf et al., 2013).
Formations within each geographic area were correlated to the C1-C5 depositional sequences of Holland & Patzkowsky (1996) using published chemostratigraphic and biostratigraphic data (e.g.