Availability and Reservation of Stratigraphic Unit Names

Last updated:7 June 2023

Name reservation

To avoid the possibility that a name may be claimed simultaneously for two or more different units, names may be reserved for a period before they are finally allocated. Please follow the following procedure to reserve a name:

  1. Search the Australian Stratigraphic Names Database. If the name is found in the database, it has been previously published, and will not be available for your unit if it occurs in the same or an adjacent state/territory.
  2. If the proposed name is not found in the database, then the appropriate volumes of the Lexique Stratigraphique International (Subcommission for the Stratigraphic Lexicon, 1958,1959, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1975) may be consulted if available, or the local State or Territory Stratigraphy Subcommission may be asked for advice on the availability of the name.
  3. If the above searches do not locate any prior usage of the proposed name, the name should be referred to the Stratigraphic Index Officer who will advise if the name is available or not. You should complete the stratigraphic unit reservation form. If you are unable to complete the form online, please provide the same detail to us using one of the following methods:
    • email: stratnames@ga.gov.au
      in writing:
      Stratigraphic Index Officer
      Geoscience Australia
      GPO Box 378
      Canberra ACT 2601
  4. If the name is pre-empted, the author is invited to submit alternatives. Where there is room for doubt, or a judgement is required, the Stratigraphic Index Officer refers the inquiry to the National Convener of the Australian Stratigraphy Commission.
  5. If the name is available, it is reserved for five years for the author, who is asked to follow the guidelines for the definition of a new lithostratigraphic unit, complete a stratigraphic unit definition form, and obtain approval for the completed definition from the relevant State or Territory Stratigraphy Subcommission.
  6. If no suitable geographic name is available in the area, it may be possible to propose a name for an unnamed feature to the Geographic Names Board or Place Names Committee of the State or Territory concerned.
  7. Application may be made for the re-use of abandoned Australian stratigraphic units names, and in some restricted circumstances approval may be given.