Recalibrating the Devonian Time Scale: A New Method for Integrating Radioisotopic and Astrochronologic Ages in a Bayesian Framework

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The numerous biotic, climatic, and tectonic events of the Devonian cannot be correlated and investigated without a well-calibrated time scale. Here, we updated the calibration of the Devonian time scale using a Bayesian age-depth model that incorporates radioisotopic ages and astrochronology durations. We used existing radioisotopic ages collected and harmonized in the last two geologic time scale compilations, as well as new U-Pb zircon ages from Emsian {Hercules I K-bentonite, Wetteldorf, Germany: 394.290 ± 0.097(0.21)[0.47] Ma} and Eifelian K-bentonites {Tioga B and Tioga F K-bentonites, Fayette, New York, USA: 390.82 ± 0.18(0.26)[0.48] Ma and 390.14 ± 0.14(0.23)[0.47] Ma, respectively}. We anchored floating astrochronology stage durations on radioisotopic ages and chained astrochronologic constraints and uncertainty together to extrapolate conditioning age likelihoods up or down the geologic time scale, which is a new method for integrating astrochronology into age-depth modeling. The modeling results in similar ages and durations for Devonian stages regardless of starting biostratigraphic scaling assumptions. We produced a set of rescaled biostratigraphic zonations, and a new numerical calibration of Devonian stage boundary ages with robust uncertainty estimates, which allow us to evaluate future targets for Devonian time scale research. These methods are broadly applicable for time scale work and provide a template for an integrated stratigraphic approach to time scale modeling.