382.7 ± 1.6 – 372.2 ± 1.6 Ma
Paleogeography of the Late Devonian, 380 Ma
Name formalityFormal
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitAge
Stratigraphic unitStage
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionFAD of the conodont Ancyrodella rotundiloba
Lower boundary GSSPCol du Puech de la Suque, Montagne Noire, France
43°30′12″N 3°05′12″E / 43.5032°N 3.0868°E / 43.5032; 3.0868
Lower GSSP ratified1986[5]
Upper boundary definitionFAD of the conodont Palmatolepis triangularis
LAD of the conodonts Ancyrodella and Ozarkodina and the goniatites Gephuroceratidae and Beloceratidae
Upper boundary GSSPCoumiac quarry, Montagne Noire, France
43°27′41″N 3°02′25″E / 43.4613°N 3.0403°E / 43.4613; 3.0403
Upper GSSP ratified1993[6]

The Frasnian is one of two faunal stages in the Late Devonian Period. It lasted from 382.7 million years ago to 372.2 million years ago. It was preceded by the Givetian Stage and followed by the Famennian Stage.

Major reef-building was under way during the Frasnian Stage, particularly in western Canada and Australia. On land, the first forests were taking shape. In North America, the Antler orogeny peaked, which were contemporary with the Bretonic phase of the Variscan orogeny in Europe.

The Frasnian coincides with the second half of the "charcoal gap" in the fossil record, a time when atmospheric oxygen levels were below 13 percent, the minimum necessary to sustain wildfires.[7]

North American subdivisions of the Frasnian include

Name and definition

The Frasnian Stage was proposed in 1879 by French geologist Jules Gosselet and was accepted for the lower stage of the Upper Devonian by the Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy in 1981.[8] It is named after the village of Frasnes-lez-Couvin in Belgium.[9]


  1. ^ Parry, S. F.; Noble, S. R.; Crowley, Q. G.; Wellman, C. H. (2011). "A high-precision U–Pb age constraint on the Rhynie Chert Konservat-Lagerstätte: time scale and other implications". Journal of the Geological Society. London: Geological Society. 168 (4): 863–872. doi:10.1144/0016-76492010-043.
  2. ^ Kaufmann, B.; Trapp, E.; Mezger, K. (2004). "The numerical age of the Upper Frasnian (Upper Devonian) Kellwasser horizons: A new U-Pb zircon date from Steinbruch Schmidt(Kellerwald, Germany)". The Journal of Geology. 112 (4): 495–501. Bibcode:2004JG....112..495K. doi:10.1086/421077.
  3. ^ Algeo, T. J. (1998). "Terrestrial-marine teleconnections in the Devonian: links between the evolution of land plants, weathering processes, and marine anoxic events". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 353 (1365): 113–130. doi:10.1098/rstb.1998.0195.
  4. ^ "Chart/Time Scale". International Commission on Stratigraphy.
  5. ^ Klapper, Gilbert; Feist, Raimund; House, Michael (June 1987). "Decision on the Boundary Stratotype for the Middle/Upper Devonian Series Boundary". Episodes. 10 (2): 97–101. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/1987/v10i2/004. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  6. ^ Klapper, G.; Feist, R.; Becker, R.; House, M. (December 1993). "Definition of the Frasnian/Famennian Stage boundary". 16 (4): 433–441. Retrieved 19 December 2020. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ McGhee, George R. Jr. (12 November 2013). When the Invasion of Land Failed: The Legacy of the Devonian Extinctions. Columbia University Press. pp. 110–11. ISBN 978-0-231-16057-5. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  8. ^ Coen-Aubert, Marie; Boulvain, Frédéric (2006). "Frasnian". Geologica Belgica. 9 (1–2): 19–25. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Frasnian mudmounds from Belgium". University of Liège. Retrieved 2011-02-25.

43°30′12″N 3°05′12″E / 43.5032°N 3.0868°E / 43.5032; 3.0868