Moscovian (Carboniferous)
The Moscovian is in the ICS
International Commission on Stratigraphy
The International Commission on Stratigraphy , sometimes referred to by the unofficial "International Stratigraphic Commission" is a daughter or major subcommittee grade scientific daughter organization that concerns itself with stratigraphy, geological, and geochronological matters on a global...

 geologic timescale a stage or age in the Pennsylvanian
The Pennsylvanian is, in the ICS geologic timescale, the younger of two subperiods of the Carboniferous Period. It lasted from roughly . As with most other geochronologic units, the rock beds that define the Pennsylvanian are well identified, but the exact date of the start and end are uncertain...

, the youngest subsystem of the Carboniferous
The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that extends from the end of the Devonian Period, about 359.2 ± 2.5 Mya , to the beginning of the Permian Period, about 299.0 ± 0.8 Mya . The name is derived from the Latin word for coal, carbo. Carboniferous means "coal-bearing"...

. The Moscovian age lasted from 311.7 ± 1.1 to 306.5 ± 1.0 Ma, is preceded by the Bashkirian
The Bashkirian is in the ICS geologic timescale the lowest stage or oldest age of the Pennsylvanian, the youngest subsystem of the Carboniferous...

 and is followed by the Kasimovian
The Kasimovian is an geochronologic age or chronostratigraphic stage in the ICS geologic timescale. It is the third stage in the Pennsylvanian , lasting from 306.5 ± 1.0 to 303.9 ± 0.9 Ma. The Kasimovian stage follows the Moscovian and is followed by the Gzhelian.-Name and definition:The Kasimovian...

. The Moscovian overlaps with the European regional Westphalian
Westphalian (stage)
The Westphalian is a stage in the regional stratigraphy of northwest Europe with an age between roughly 313 and 304 Ma . It is a subdivision of the Carboniferous system or period and the regional Silesian series. The Westphalian is named for the region of Westphalia in western Germany where strata...

 stage and the North American Atokan and Desmoinesian stages.

The Moscovian saw an extinction event which occurred on the land and the sea. On the land it is referred to as the Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse
Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse
The Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse was an extinction event that occurred around 305 million years ago in the Carboniferous period). Vast coal forests covered the equatorial region of Euramerica...


Name and definition

The Moscovian stage was introduced by Sergei Nikitin (1850 - 1909) in 1890, using brachiopods in the Moscow Basin of European Russia. Nikitin named the stage after Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, then a major city and now the capital of Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...


The base of the Moscovian is close to the first appearances of the conodont
Conodonts are extinct chordates resembling eels, classified in the class Conodonta. For many years, they were known only from tooth-like microfossils now called conodont elements, found in isolation. Knowledge about soft tissues remains relatively sparse to this day...

s Declinognathodus donetzianus and Idiognathoides postsulcatus or otherwise the fusulinid
The Fusulinida is an extinct order within the Foraminifera in which the tests are composed of tightly packed, secreted microgranular calcite. In advanced forms the test wall is differentiated into two or more layers...

 Aljutovella aljutovica. Because the fusulinid species are regionally different, they can not be used for worldwide correlation. A golden spike
Golden spike
The "Golden Spike" is the ceremonial final spike driven by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory...

 for the Moscovian stage has yet to be defined (2008). A proposal is to use the first appearance of the conodont Diplognathodus ellesmerensis, but since the species is rare and its evolution relatively unknown, it has not been accepted yet.

The top of the Moscovian (base of the Kasimovian) is at the base of the fusulinid biozone
Biostratigraphic units or Biozones are intervals of geological strata that are defined on the basis of their characteristic fossil taxa....

 of Obsoletes obsoletes and Protriticites pseudomontiparus, or with the first appearance of the ammonite
Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct subclass within the Molluscan class Cephalopoda which are more closely related to living coleoids Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct...

In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...



In European Russia and Eastern Europe, where the stage was first recognized, the Moscovian is subdivided into four regional substages: Vereiskian, Kashirskian, Podolskian, and Myachkovskian.

The Moscovian can biostratigraphically
Biostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy which focuses on correlating and assigning relative ages of rock strata by using the fossil assemblages contained within them. Usually the aim is correlation, demonstrating that a particular horizon in one geological section represents the same period...

 be divided into five conodont biozone
Biostratigraphic units or Biozones are intervals of geological strata that are defined on the basis of their characteristic fossil taxa....

  • Neognathodus roundyi and Streptognathodus cancellosus Zone
  • Neognathodus medexultimus and Streptognathodus concinnus Zone
  • Streptognathodus dissectus Zone
  • Neognathodus uralicus Zone
  • Declinognathodus donetzianus Zone


; 2004: A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press; 1999: Bashkirian conodonts of the Donets Basin, Ukraine. Scr. Geol. 119, pp 1–115 .; 1890: Carboniferous deposits of the Moscow region and artesian waters near Moscow, Trudy Geologicheskogo Komiteta 5(5), pp. 1–182 .; 1986: Zonal fusulinid scale of the Moscovian Stage based on a revision of the type sections of intrastage subdivisions, Vopr. Mikropaleontol. 28, pp 3–23 .

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