Where can I find a detailed poster explaining geological periods?
April 4, 2013 2:38 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to brush up on my geology, a science that pretty much passed me by, which is frustrating when people I work with casually start talking about Cambrian this, and Triassic that. Where can I find a large poster / chart detailing all the geological epochs and periods? The chart produced by the Geological Society of America is a good start, but it would be more useful if it was, say, annotated with important events ("Angiosperms evolved here! Gondwana separated here!"), and it it had maps of the positions of continents on it at various times. Has anyone seen anything like this? My searches for geology posters have mostly turned up pictures of mountains, or "Geology Rocks!" logos...
posted by Jimbob to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Try doing an image search for 'geological era poster'. That turned up a good selection I think, including the one we have at work which sounds like what you are looking for.
posted by atlantica at 3:18 AM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: Good question! A google image search for "geologic time scale poster" turned up various things, of which this one seems the most promising. Unfortunately the preview on that page doesn't have enough resolution to really show what's in it, though the palaeogeography is definitely there. This image of the same poster gives slightly more detail.

A side note on learning the time scale: I never had much luck learning it "cold", even with a poster pinned up in my field of vision. I found that it stuck much more easily when I just started immersing myself in the literature (both scientific and popular) which uses these points of reference. I guess this is more or less an extension of your wanting a poster with important events marked. Other things that helped: researching the histories and etymologies of the names (at least for a word nerd like me), and reading about the history of stratigraphy (who named these things? when? why did they pick those names?). John McPhee's The Annals of the Former World and Simon Winchester's The Map that Changed the World are good on both stratigraphy and the history of its development.
posted by pont at 3:24 AM on April 4, 2013

Response by poster: I'm reading "The Annals of the Former World" right now - that's what inspired the question! Both these posters so far are looking close to what I want, thanks.
posted by Jimbob at 3:32 AM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: You need a correlated history. My wife, who had more geology classes than classes in her major, has this on her office wall.
posted by notsnot at 4:38 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes! That is exactly what I need.
posted by Jimbob at 4:59 AM on April 4, 2013

I realize you're in Australia, but most USAian national parks carry that poster.
posted by notsnot at 6:05 AM on April 4, 2013

The Elsevier poster linked by pont is also on sale directly from Elsevier.

For paleogeography, you will find that Ron Blakey's paleo-reconstruction maps are very very nice. They're rendered as modern physiographic atlases are, and have global, continental and regional maps. You'll find the North America and Colorado plateau maps particularly useful if you're reading McPhee.

I'm intrigued by notsnot's link. I wish I could see a better preview.
posted by bumpkin at 12:33 PM on April 4, 2013

Response by poster: Here are a couple of bigger images of that poster - neither of which are fantastic, but they do at least give you an idea of what's on it.
posted by Jimbob at 3:58 PM on April 4, 2013

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