Jump to content



Geological Timescale


Geological timescale

Geological timescale: Digging the pastThe Geological Timescale presents a time line spanning the entire history of the Earth to which geological and evolutionary events can be tied.

The quantity of time elapsed since the formation of the Earth is near-unimaginable.

With the age of the Earth believed to be 4.56 billion years old, relationships between rock units, terranes and continents as well as the dawn, rise and evolution of life would be lost without a single unifying reference. This is the Geological Timescale.

With inputs from understanding rock sequences and relationships, identifying the presence (and absence) of fossil faunas and the science of radiometric age dating, the Geological Timescale is fundamental to understanding the history of the Earth.

Digging the past shows the Geological Timescale from the start of the Archaean (3.8 billion years ago to the present). The Hadaean (4.56 billion years ago) is not shown.

Download the Geological Timescale

The timescales are available for download in several formats. They can be printed, cut-out and kept as a personal reference for school, home or office.