The Executive Council approved a resolution on the 24th May 2022 to set up the Commission on Maltese Stratigraphy. This standing Committee has the following objectives:


The members of the Committee are:

Dr Daniel Sultana

Dr Niccolo Baldassini

Dr Ray Zammit

Chris Gauci

Dr Peter Gatt

Stratigraphic column of Maltese Islands

Key stages in the development of Maltese stratigraphy:

One of the early Stratigraphic columns of Maltese rocks (1856)

Table: Stratigraphy of the Maltese Islands through time (Malta Group). Bold lettering denotes the first use of the stratigraphic name which became part of the accepted stratigraphy of the Maltese Islands and subsurface.

Stratigraphic column of the Maltese Islands based on Rizzo (1932), Pedley (1978), Gatt (2022) and Pedley (2011) 

Updated stratigraphy of the Lower Coralline Limestone Formation (Oligocene) and naming of Eocene carbonates as Zabbar Formation (Gatt, 2022).


The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) is the largest and oldest constituent scientific body in the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Its primary objective is to define precisely global units (systems, series and stages) of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart that, in turn, are the basis for the units (periods, epochs and age) of the International Geological Time Scale; thus setting global standards for the fundamental scale for expressing the history of the Earth.

Click to view chronostratigraphic chart: Stratigraphic Chart 

It should be noted that the nomenclature of Maltese Formations does not conform to the International Stratigraphic Guide, but have been kept for historical reasons.  International Stratigraphic Guide 


Gatt, P. (2005). Syntectonic deposition of an Oligo-Miocene phosphorite conglomerate bed in Malta. Central Mediterranean Naturalist, 4(2), 109-118.

Gatt, P. (2022) Facies, depositional environments and drowning of Tethyan isolated carbonate platforms: the Paleogene of Malta. Facies, 68(9). DOI: 10.1007/s10347-022-00648-1

Hilgen, F.J., Abels, H.A., Iaccarino, S., Krijgsman, W., Raffi, I.,  Sprovieri, R., Turco, E., and Zachariasse, W.J. (2009) The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Serravallian Stage (Middle Miocene), Episodes, 32, 152-166.

Pedley, H. (1978). A new lithostratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental interpretation for the coralline limestone Formation of the Maltese Islands. Overseas Geological & Mineralogical Resources, 54, 1-17.

Rizzo, C., 1932. Report on the Geology of the Maltese Islands. 

Spratt, T. (1854). On the Geology of Malta and Gozo. Bradbury & Evans Printers.