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system series step ≈ age ( mya )
higher higher higher younger
Paleogene Oligocene Chattium 23.03

Rupelium 28.1

Eocene Priobonium 33.9

Bartonium 38

lutetium 41.3

Ypresium 47.8

Paleocene Thanetium 56

Seelandium 59.2

Danium 61.6

deeper deeper deeper older

In geological history, a time interval of the paleogene is referred to as a rupelium (usually rupel or rupel level in German usage ) . It is the lower chronostratigraphic stage of the Oligocene (Palaeogene) and is equated with the Lower Oligocene . Geochronologically it ranges from about 33.9 to 28.1 million years. The stage follows the Priabonium and is replaced by the Chattium . In northern Germany, the term rupelium is also used for a regional level, but its boundaries do not coincide with the global level. It ranges from about 32.5 to 29.5 million years. In the literature, this regional level is often put in quotation marks. It would be desirable to rename it to avoid confusion with the global level of the same name.

Naming and history

The stage is named after the Rupel , a right tributary of the Scheldt near Antwerp ( Belgium ). The stage and name were suggested by the Belgian geologist André Hubert Dumont in 1850.

The Oligocene was introduced by Heinrich Ernst Beyrich in 1854 and divided into three stages - Lower, Middle and Upper Oligocene. At that time the Rupelium still corresponded to the Middle Oligocene. This threefolding was changed in 1980 by the ICS into the two-tier division - rupelium and chattium . The Lower Oligocene was consequently added to the Rupelium. The Lower Oligocene was known under the regional stage names Latdorf (ium) (North German Plain), Sannoisium (or Sannoisien - Paris Basin ) or Tongrium ( Tongeren group of the Belgian Basin ).

Definition and GSSP

The beginning of the stage is defined by the extinction of the foraminifera genus Hantkenina , the end by the extinction of the foraminifera genus Chiloguembelina (corresponds to the base of the foraminifera zone P21b). A reference profile (GSSP = Global Stratotype Section and Point) for the rupelium has not yet been established.


The original stratotype of the Rupelium, the Rupel group , already described by Dumont , is located in the Belgian Basin .


In addition to the listed stratotype, the rupelium occurs in the following sedimentation spaces:


The lower limit of the Rupelium to the Priabonium is magnetostratigraphically in the upper section of Chron C 13r , more precisely at C 13r.86 . It then includes the chrons C 13n , C 12 , C 11 and C 10 . The upper limit to the Chattium coincides with the beginning of Chron C 10n.2n .


Planktonic foraminifera

The planktonic foraminifera of the Rupelium can be assigned to zones P 18 , P 19 , P 20 and P 21a . The genera Pseudohastigerina and Chiloguembelina appear for the last time ( LAD ). Newly added ( FAD ) are the taxa Globigerina ciperoensis angulisuturalis and Globorotalia opima opima . The large forms Nummulites vascus and Nummulites fichteli constitute the zone SBZ 21 ; become even Nummulites bouillei and Bullalveolina added so this defines the zone SBZ 22a .

Calcareous nannoplankton

The calcareous nannoplankton forms the zones NP 21 (upper half), NP22 , NP 23 and NP 24 (lower half) in the Rupelium . The taxa Ericsonia subdisticha , Ericsonia formosa and Reticulofenestra umbilicus are dying out. For the first time Sphenolitus distentus and Sphenolitus ciperoensis appear .


The zoning for the rupelium obtained from dinoflagellate cysts is: D 13 , D 14 and the lower section of D 15 . The following taxa are dying out: Areosphaeridium diktyoplokum , Spiniferites sp. 1 , Enneadocysta arcuata and Phtanopteridinium amoenum . The new cysts Chiropteridium galea , Wetzeliella gochtii , Apteodinium spiridoides and Saturnodinium pansum appear .

Land mammal biozones

The rupelium includes the following land mammal biozones ( Land Mammal Mega Zones ), separated by continents :

Grande Coupure

At the beginning of the Rupelium, the earth's fauna communities were hard hit by the Grande Coupure , a massive turning point in evolutionary history , which, particularly in Europe, was associated with a significant extinction of species , the establishment of immigrated taxa and neuradiation.


  • André Dumont : Report sur la carte geologique du Royaume . In: Bulletins de l'Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique . tape 16, 2 , 1850, ISSN  0770-7355 , p. 351-373 .
  • Felix M. Gradstein, Jim Ogg, Jim Smith, Alan Smith (Eds.): A Geologic timescale 2004, 3rd edition . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2004, ISBN 0-521-78673-8 .
  • Hans Murawski, Wilhelm Meyer: Geological dictionary. 10th revised and expanded edition . Enke Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-432-84100-0 ( Enke paperback ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ German Stratigraphic Commission, Manfred Menning (Ed.): Stratigraphische Tisch von Deutschland 2002 . Potsdam 2002, ISBN 3-00-010197-7 (1 sheet, [PDF; 6.6 MB ]).