485.4 ± 1.9 – 477.7 ± 1.4 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 Iapetognathus fluctivagus.
Lower boundary GSSPGreenpoint section, Green Point, Newfoundland, Canada
49°40′58″N 57°57′55″W / 49.6829°N 57.9653°W / 49.6829; -57.9653
Lower GSSP ratified2000[5]
Upper boundary definitionFAD of the Graptolite Tetragraptus approximatus
Upper boundary GSSPDiabasbrottet quarry, Västergötland, Sweden
58°21′32″N 12°30′09″E / 58.3589°N 12.5024°E / 58.3589; 12.5024
Upper GSSP ratified2002[6]

The Tremadocian is the lowest stage of Ordovician. Together with the later Floian Stage it forms the Lower Ordovician Epoch. The Tremadocian lasted from 485.4 to 477.7 million years ago. The base of the Tremadocian is defined as the first appearance of the conodont species Iapetognathus fluctivagus at the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) section on Newfoundland.[7]


The Tremadocian is named after the village Tremadoc in Wales. The name was proposed by Adam Sedgwick in 1846 (as "Tremadoc group").


The GSSP for the beginning of the Tremadocian is the Greenpoint section (49°40′58″N 57°57′55″W / 49.6829°N 57.9653°W / 49.6829; -57.9653) in Gros Morne National Park, in western Newfoundland. It is defined as the first appearance of the conodont species Iapetognathus fluctivagus. This horizon can be found 101.8 m above the Greenpoint section datum within bed number 23.[7] The boundary lies within the Broom Point Member, of the Green Point Formation which is part of the Cow Head Group.[5] The first planktonic graptolites appear 4.8 m above the first appearance of Iapetognathus fluctivagus at Greenpoint section.[5]

The Tremadocian ends with the beginning of the Floian which is defined as the first appearance of Tetragraptus approximatus at the GSSP in Diabasbrottet quarry, Västergötland, Sweden.[7]

Regional stages

In North America the first stage of the Ordovician is the Gasconadian Stage. In Baltoscandic region the stages corresponding to Tremadocian are Pakerort stage (older) and Varangu stage (younger).


The Cambrian Stage 10-Tremadocian boundary is marked by the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction event. It led to the extinction of many brachipods, conodonts and severely reduced the number of trilobite species. Overall the amount of biodiversity of the Cambrian was maintained. The evolutionary radiation that would eventually triple the amount of genera during the Ordovician (the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event) slowly picks up during the Tremadocian.[8]

Conodonts diversified during the Tremadocian, though not to the same extent as they would in the following Floian.[9] Planktonic graptolites, an important index fossil, appear during the Tremadocian.[5]

The middle of the Tremadocian witnessed an extinction event known as the Mid-Tremadocian Extinction Event[9] or the Base Stairsian Mass Extinction Event,[10] which is particularly known to have affected Baltican conodonts.[9] This extinction event may have been caused by anoxia.[11][12]

Ocean and climate

Further information: Ordovician § Climate_and_sea_level

The Early Ordovician in general was a time of transgression. The climate was slowly cooling throughout the Ordovician.[13]


  1. ^ Wellman, C.H.; Gray, J. (2000). "The microfossil record of early land plants". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 355 (1398): 717–732. doi:10.1098/rstb.2000.0612. PMC 1692785. PMID 10905606.
  2. ^ Korochantseva, Ekaterina; Trieloff, Mario; Lorenz, Cyrill; Buykin, Alexey; Ivanova, Marina; Schwarz, Winfried; Hopp, Jens; Jessberger, Elmar (2007). "L-chondrite asteroid breakup tied to Ordovician meteorite shower by multiple isochron 40 Ar- 39 Ar dating". Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 42 (1): 113–130. Bibcode:2007M&PS...42..113K. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2007.tb00221.x.
  3. ^ Lindskog, A.; Costa, M. M.; Rasmussen, C.M.Ø.; Connelly, J. N.; Eriksson, M. E. (2017-01-24). "Refined Ordovician timescale reveals no link between asteroid breakup and biodiversification". Nature Communications. 8: 14066. doi:10.1038/ncomms14066. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 5286199. PMID 28117834. It has been suggested that the Middle Ordovician meteorite bombardment played a crucial role in the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, but this study shows that the two phenomena were unrelated
  4. ^ "Chart/Time Scale". International Commission on Stratigraphy.
  5. ^ a b c d Cooper, Roger; Nowlan, Godfrey; Williams, S. H. (March 2001). "Global Stratotype Section and Point for base of the Ordovician System" (PDF). Episodes. 24 (1): 19–28. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/2001/v24i1/005. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  6. ^ Bergström, M.; Löfgren, Anita; Maletz, Jörg (December 2004). "The GSSP of the Second (Upper) Stage of the Lower Ordovician Series: Diabasbrottet at Hunneberg, Province of Västergötland, Southwestern Sweden". Episodes. 27 (4): 265–272. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/2004/v27i4/005. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "GSSP Table - Paleozoic Era". Geologic TimeScale Foundation. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  8. ^ Sepkoski, J. J. (1995). "The Ordovician Radiations: Diversification and Extinction Shown by Global Genus-Level Taxonomic Data". pp. 393–396. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Stouge, Svend; Bagnoli, Gabriella; Rasmussen, Jan A. (1 July 2020). "Late Cambrian (Furongian) to mid-Ordovician euconodont events on Baltica: Invasions and immigrations". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 549: 109151. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.04.007. S2CID 146630424. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  10. ^ Lu, Xinze; Edwards, Cole T.; Kendall, Brian (15 January 2023). "No evidence for expansion of global ocean euxinia during the base Stairsian mass extinction event (Tremadocian, Early Ordovician)". Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 341: 116–131. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2022.11.028. S2CID 254361718. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  11. ^ Edwards, Cole T.; Fike, David A.; Saltzman, Matthew Ross; Lu, Wanyi; Lu, Zunli (1 January 2018). "Evidence for local and global redox conditions at an Early Ordovician (Tremadocian) mass extinction". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 481: 125–135. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.10.002. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  12. ^ Saltzman, Matthew Ross; Edwards, Cole T.; Adrain, Jonathan M.; Westrop, Stephen R. (1 September 2015). "Persistent oceanic anoxia and elevated extinction rates separate the Cambrian and Ordovician radiations". Geology. 43 (9): 807–810. doi:10.1130/G36814.1. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  13. ^ Munnecke, Axel; Calner, Mikael; Harper, David A.T.; Servais, Thomas (1 October 2010). "Ordovician and Silurian sea–water chemistry, sea level, and climate: A synopsis". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 296 (3–4): 389–413. Bibcode:2010PPP...296..389M. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.08.001.