Encyclopedia of Lunar Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Brian Cudnik

Lunar Geological Timescale

  • Jianzhong LiuEmail author
  • Dijun Guo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05546-6_63-1

Lunar geological timescale is a system of chronological measurement that relates stratigraphy to time and is used by geologists and other scientists of the Moon to describe the timing and relationships between events that have occurred throughout lunar history.

The first comprehensive lunar geological timescale was established by Shoemaker and Hackman ( 1962) and has been modified four times since then (McCauley 1967; Shoemaker 1964; Stuart-Alexander and Wilhelms 1975; Wilhelms 1970; Wilhelms et al. 1987). Wilhelms et al. ( 1987) completed the latest version of five-unit lunar geological timescale, which is the most widely used presently. The five periods units of this timescale are: Copernican, Eratosthenian, Imbrian, Nectarian, and Pre-Nectarian from young to old, additionally, the Imbrian period includes two epochs named Late Imbrian and Early Imbrian (Table 1).
Table 1

Lunar geological timescale currently used

Time-stratigraphic/geochronologic units

Geological Events

Age (b.y.)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Lunar and Planetary SciencesInstitute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Yuanzhi Zhang
    • 1
  • Shengbo Chen
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Lunar and Deep-space ExplorationChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingPR China
  2. 2.College of Geo-exploration Science and TechnologyJilin UniversityChangchunChina