Our Work

Our work falls into the following:

  1. The research of working groups to define the base of each of the Jurassic stages.
  2. Working groups on other aspects of the Jurassic.
  3. Facilitating communication on the Jurassic including organization of conference sessions, workshops and the international conference for ISJS that is held every 4 years to facilitate research on the Jurassic (see Meetings)
  4. Supporting IGCP projects related to the Jurassic.
  5. Improving resolution and correlation of the integrated stratigraphy for the Jurassic.
  6. Furthering understanding of the Earth system during the Jurassic.
  7. Providing an inclusive and diverse community that facilitates research aspirations at all career stages.

The next ISJS conference will be held in Hungary in 2022. We usually organise a session at the international stratigraphy conference facilitated by ICS (STRATI). The last STRATI was in July 2019 in Milan.

Research on the Jurassic by the executive of ISJS and voting members of the ISJS can be found under their individual webpages listed on the members page. The journal Volumina Jurassica is also a good place to find out who else is publishing research on the Jurassic.


Stage working groups and GSSPs

One of the major aims of the ISJS is to define all the Global Stratotypes, Sections and Points (GSSPs) for the Jurassic. Most of the research work is completed through working groups for each of the stages. This section summarises:

  1. All the Jurassic boundaries that have been formally defined and ratified. Note that each of these boundaries have, firstly, been researched, defined and voted on by ISJS and the associated working group, secondly, received peer review and been voted on by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and, thirdly, received ratification by the International Union of Geological Sciences.
  2. The status of the boundaries that are currently in progress towards formal definition.


A working definition is near the base of the Hybonoticeras hybonotum ammonite zone and lowest occurrence of Gravesia genus, and the base of magnetic polarity chronozone M22An.

Possible candidates GSSPs considered so far are at Mt. Crussol or Canjuers (SE France) and Fornazzo (Sicily, S. Italy).

The convenor of the Tithonian Working Group is Federico Olóriz Sáez, Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias – Universidad de Granada, Av. Fuentenueva s/n – 18071 Granada, e-mail: foloriz[AT]ugr.es

Papers on sections that are also relevant include:

Gorodischi section, Ulianovsk area, Russia

  • Rogov M.A. 2010. A precise ammonite biostratigraphy through the Kimmeridgian-Volgian boundary beds in the Gorodischi section (Middle Volga area, Russia), and the base of the Volgian Stage in its type area, Volumina Jurassica, Vol.VIII, p.103-130.
  • Rogov M., Zakharov V. 2014. Russian GSSP Candidate Sections for the Jurassic System // STRATI 2013. First International Congress on Stratigraphy. At the Cutting Edge of Stratigraphy. Springer Geology, p.277-281, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-04364-7_56.

Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, UK

  • Gallois, R. W. 2011. A revised description of the lithostratigraphy of the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian and Kimmeridgian-Volgian boundary beds at Kimmeridge, Dorset, UK, Geoscience in Southwest England, v12, p228-294.


NEW In January 2021, the proposal for the base Kimmeridgian GSSP received unanimous support from all the voting members of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. It was then recommended to the International Union of Geological Sciences Executive Committee who, in February 2021, also voted unanimously to ratify the proposal.

The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Kimmeridgian Stage (Upper Jurassic) is placed in the upper part of Bed 35 of the Staffin Shale Formation, 1.25 ± 0.01 m below the base of Bed 36 in block F6 in the foreshore at Flodigarry, Staffin Bay, Isle of Skye, Scotland. The coordinates for the middle part of the two adjacent sections (sections F6N and F6S) are 57° 39′ 39.5″ N, 6° 14′ 43.9″ W and 57° 39′ 40.5″ N, 6° 14′ 45″ W; UK National Grid Scheme NG 4687 7139 and NG 4687 7142 ± 5 m.

This proposed stratigraphic point coincides with the appearance over a short stratigraphic interval of several new ammonite taxa that delineate the base of the Subboreal ammonite Baylei Zone, the base of the Densicostata Subzone marked by the base of the flodigarriensis horizon, and, independently, the base of the Boreal ammonite Bauhini Zone. The main advantages of this locality are: the presence of a dual ammonite zonation marked by two extensively studied, well-preserved and very abundant groups of ammonites, and their preservation within a continuous section of ~120 m of open marine, fossiliferous, thermally immature mudrocks with no evidence of condensation or stratigraphic gaps. Dinoflagellate cysts, magnetostratigraphy and stable isotope data from the same section provide auxiliary markers. The thermal immaturity and unweathered nature of the strata in the Flodigarry section has permitted a direct Re-Os radiometric age of 154.1 ± 2.2 Ma to be obtained from the mudrocks 0.05 m below the proposed Kimmeridgian boundary. The corresponding stratigraphic level in the Submediterranean-Mediterranean successions is close to the boundary between the Hypselum and Bimammatum ammonite zones.

A full account is currently being prepared for publication in Episodes.

Any enquiries can be sent in the first instance to the ISJS chair Angela.Coe[AT]open.ac.uk

The convenor of the Kimmeridgian Working Group and lead author is Andrzej Wierzbowski, Faculty of Geology, University of Warsaw, Poland. awwierzb[AT]uw.edu.pl



The working definition is at the base of the ammonite Cardioceras redcliffense Horizon at base of the Cardioceras scarburgense Subzone (Quenstedtoceras mariae Zone).

Candidates locations for the Global Stratotype Section and Point are at Thoux, Provence, SE France (Pellenard et al. (2014)) and Redcliff Point, Dorset, SW England (Melendez & Page (2015).

The chair of the working group for definition of the base of the Oxfordian Stage is Kevin Page, Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK. K.Page[AT]exeter.ac.uk

Papers on sections that are also relevant include: Dubki section, Saratov area, Russia

  • Kiselev, D., Rogov, M., Glinskokh, L., Guzhikov, A., Pimenov, M., Mikhailov, A., Dzyuba, O., Matveev, A., & Tesakova, E. (2013). Integrated stratigraphy of the reference sections for the Callovian-Oxfordian boundary in European Russia. Volumina Jurassica, 11(1), 59 - 96. Retrieved from https://vjs.pgi.gov.pl/article/view/26587


The current working definition is the first occurrence of the ammonite genus Kepplerites (Kosmoceratidae) which marks the base of Macrocephalites herveyi Zone in sub-Boreal province of Great Britain to southwest Germany.

The Callovian working group(http://jurassic.ru/callovian.htm) who are completing research to define the base of the Callovian Stage is convened by Dr. Eckhard Mönnig, Naturkunde-Museum Coburg, Park 6, D-96450 Coburg, Germany, e.moennig[AT]naturkunde-museum-coburg.de. Recent publication relevant to the Callovian are posted on the Callovian working group website.

The most recent report of progress of the Callovian working group is published in Volumina Jurassic: Mönnig (2014).

Other sections under consideration include: Prosek section, Nizhni Novgorod area, Russia

  • Guzhikov, A.Ya., Pimenov, M.V., Malenkina, S.Yu., Manikin, A.G., Astarkin, S.V. 2010. Paleomagnetic, petromagnetic and terrigenous-mineralogical studies of Upper Bathonian-Lower Callovian sediments in the Prosek section, Nizhni Novgorod Region, Stratigraphy and Geological Correlation, v18, p42-62.
  • Kiselev D.N. & Rogov, M.A. (2007): Stratigraphy of the Bathonian-Callovian boundary deposits in the Prosek section (Middle Volga region). Article 1. Ammonites and infrazonal biostratigraphy, Stratigraphy and Geological Correlation, v15, p485-515.


The Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Bathonian is defined at the base of limestone bed RB071 in the Ravin du Bès Section, Bas-Auran area, southern Subalpine Chains, France (43° 57′ 38″ N 6° 18′ 55″ E). The base of the stage and Zigzag Zone corresponds to the first occurrence level of Gonolkites convergens Buckman and coincides with the first occurrence of Morphoceras parvum Wetzel.

Full details are published in Fernandez-Lopez, S.R. 2009. The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for Base of the Bathonian Stage (Middle Jurassic), Ravin du Bes Section, SE France, Episodes, v. 32, p. 222-248.



The Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Bajocian Stage, formally defined at the base of bed AB11 of the Murtinheira section at Cabo Mondego, Portugal (40° 11′ 57″ N 8° 54′ 15″ W)

The position of the boundary coincides with the first occurrence of the ammonite assemblage characterized by Hyperhoceras mundum and related species (H. furcatum, Bratinsina aspera, B. elegantula). The boundary lies just below the nanno-horizon of the entry of Waunaueria communis and W. fossacincta, and closely corresponds with a reversal to normal polarity. scale. An Auxiliary Stratotype Point (ASP) is also selected at the base of bed U10 of the Bearreraig Bay section on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, as the complementary referencefor the palaeobiological key of the Bajocian lower boundary, i.e. the evolutionary transition Graphoceras–Hyperhoceras.

Full details are published in G. Pavia and R. Enay. 1997. Definition of the Aalenian-Bajocian Stage boundary, Episodes v. 20, p. 16-22.



The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Aalenian Stage is formally defined at the base of bed FZ107 in the Fuentelsaz section, Castilian Branch of the Iberian Range, Spain (41˚10′15″ N 1˚50′ 0″ W). The position of the boundary coincides with the first occurrence of the ammonite assemblage characterized by Leioceras opalinum and Leioceras lineatum and corresponds with a normal polarity interval.

A full account is published in Cresta et al. (2001) The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Toarcian-Aalenian Boundary (Lower-Middle Jurassic), Episodes, v. 24, p. 166-175.



The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of Toarcian Stage is proposed at the base of limestone Bed 15e at Ponta do Trovão, in the Peniche section (39º22’15’’ N, 9º23’07’’ W) (Lusitanian Basin, Portugal) located 80 km north of Lisbon.

The base of the Toarcian Stage is marked by the FO of the ammonite Dactylioceras (Eodactylites) simplex. Co-occurring species, which help to define the lower part of the Polymorphum Zone in the absence of D. (E.) simplex, include D. (E.) pseudocommune and D. (E.) polymorphum. The ammonite association of D. (Eodactylites) ssp. and other species e.g. Protogrammoceras (Paltarpites) cf. paltum, Lioceratoides aff. balinense and Tiltoniceras aff. capillatum is particularly significant for the boundary definition.

The section at Almonacid de la Cuba (Iberian Range, Spain) provides complementary data of the ammonite succession in the Northwest European Hawskerense and Paltum Subzones and magnetostratigraphical data.

A full account is published in Bordalo da Rocha et al. 2016 Base of the Toarcian Stage of the Lower Jurassic defined by the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) at the Peniche section (Portugal), Episodes, v.39, p.460-481.



The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Pliensbachian Stage (Lower Jurassic) is at the base of bed 73b of Hesselbo and Jenkyns (1995) in the Wine Haven section, Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire, UK (54° 24′ 23.9″ N 0° 29′ 44.5″ W). This level contains the characteristic ammonite association Bifericeras donovani Dommergues and Meister and Apoderoceras sp.

A full account is published in Meister, C. et al. 2006. The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Base of the Pliensbachian Stage (Lower Jurassic), Wine Haven, Yorkshire, UK. Episodes, v.29, p.93-106.



The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Sinemurian, the second stage of the Lower Jurassic, is exposed in the cliff north of East Quantoxhead, about 6 km east of Watchet, Somerset, England (51° 11′ 27.7″ N 3° 14′ 11.6″ W). The boundary level is 0.90 m above the base of British Geological Survey Bed 145 of coinciding with the first appearance of the genera Vermiceras (V. quantoxense, V. palmeri) and Metophioceras (M. sp. indet. 1).

A full account is published in Bloos, G and Page K.N. 2002. Global Stratotype Section and Point for base of the Sinemurian Stage (Lower Jurassic). Episodes v.25, p.22-28.


Hettangian and base of the Jurassic

The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) defining the base of the Jurassic System, Lower Jurassic Epoch, and Hettangian Stage is situated at the Kuhjoch pass, Karwendel Mountains, Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria (47°29’02″N/11°31’50″E). The Triassic-Jurassic (T-J) boundary is exposed at Kuhjoch West and at Kuhjoch East, and corresponds to the first occurrence of the ammonite Psiloceras spelae tirolicum.

A full account is published in:

Von Hillebrandt, A. et al. 2013. The Global Stratotype Sections and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Jurassic System at Kuhjoch (Karwendel Mountains, Northern Calcareous Alps, Tyrol, Austria). Episodes v.36. p.162-198.

Monnigbase Jurassic section
Overlooking the Kujoch section in Karwendel near Hinterriss, Austria. The red arrow points to the GSSP for the Jurassic. Photo: Joachim Blau (12.6.2009).
Monnigbase Jurassic klein
The German Jurassic Subcommission visits the Kujoch section. The Triassic-Jurassic boundary lies in the Tiefengraben Member (red marls), about where the two people in the middle of the group are standing. The Golden Spike is now located on the other side of the ridge. Photo: Stefanie Mönnig (12.6.2009).
Monnigbase Jurassic people
The „Golden Spike“, marking the base of the Jurassic System. József Pálfy (Chairman ISJS) and Stan Finney (Chairman ISC) on the left side are sitting in Triassic beds, while Axel von Hillebrandt, Leo Krystyn (both Hettangian Working Group) and Nicol Morton (former Chairman ISJS) on the right side have their feet in the Jurassic. The beds are overturned. Photo: Stefanie Mönnig (20.8.2011).


Other working groups


Convenor: Kevin Page

Contact information: Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK. K.Page[AT]exeter.ac.uk


Convenor: Robert Chandler

Contact information: Shirley High School, Croydon, UK