"Stratigraphy' defines the basis, concepts and methods of one of the oldest disciplines of Earth Sciences. Stratigraphy is a primary tool in dynamical and historical reconstructions in paleogeography, paleontology, tectonics, sedimentology as well as mineral prospecting. The first three chapters are devoted to the description of the main tools used to subdivide geological time and to construct and more precise chronologic scale. During htis century this approach has been closely associated with the progress yielded by geochemistry, geophysics, plate tectonics, petroleum exploration and the Deep Sea Drilling Program. Correlation and dating, leading to reconstructions of paleogeography - a major step toward the knowledge of Earth history - is included. In a last chapter the principal stages of geohistory are described. Epoch for epoch plate dynamics, sea level and climate variations, environmental characters on continents and in oceans, and the link between cyclic interval activity, cosmic events and Earth history during the last 900 million years are outlined. Stratigraphical methods are then presented at their different scales of observation and synthesis.
1 Fundamentals of Stratigraphy.- 1 Definitions.- 2 Chronology of Events.- 3 Principles of Correlation.- 2 Elaboration of the Fundamentals of Stratigraphy.- 1 Lithostratigraphy.- 2 Biostratigraphy.- 2.1 Evolution, the Reference System for Age Dating.- 2.2 The Zone Concept of Oppel.- 3 Chronostratigraphy.- 3.1 The Concept of the Stage.- 3.2 Event Stratigraphy.- 3.3 The General Chronostratigraphic Scale.- 4 Conclusions.- 3 Modern Stratigraphy.- 1 Refinement of Concepts and Time Scales.- 1.1 Evaluation of Geologic Time Intervals and Rates.- 1.2 New Biostratigraphic Approaches.- 1.3 Search for a Rigorous and Universal Chronostratigraphy.- 2 New Methods of Correlation.- 2.1 Correlation by Sedimentary Rhythms.- 2.2 Correlation by Mineralogic and Geochemical Markers.- 2.3 Correlation by Paleomagnetism.- 2.4 Extraterrestrial Correlations.- 2.5 Conclusions.- 4 From Stratigraphy to Paleogeography.- 1 Principles and Methods of Paleogeography.- 1.1 Facies.- 1.2 Paleobiogeography.- 1.3 Cartographic Syntheses.- 2 Factors of Paleogeographic Evolution.- 2.1 Deformation of the Lithosphere.- 2.2 Volcanic Eruptions.- 2.3 Interplay of Erosion and Sedimentation.- 2.4 Eustasy.- 2.5 Polar Wandering.- 2.6 Conclusions: the Earth in Relation to Other Planets of the Solar System.- 5 The Major Stages of Earth History.- 1 The Precambrian.- 1.1 Boundaries and Subdivisions.- 1.2 Methods of Study.- 1.3 The Geography of the Precambrian.- 1.4 Early Segregation and Establishment of Fundamental Processes.- 1.5 Conclusions on the Precambrian.- 2 The Paleozoic: the Formation of Pangea.- 2.1 Lower Paleozoic.- 2.2 Upper Paleozoic.- 3 The Mesozoic and Cenozoic: Breakup of Pangea.- 3.1 The Mesozoic.- 3.2 The Cenozoic.- 3.3 Conclusions on the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.- General Conclusions.- References.