EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

QUARTETnary - The card game about the geological time scale

Iris van Zelst1 and Lucía Pérez-Díaz2
Iris van Zelst and Lucía Pérez-Díaz
  • 1German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany (
  • 2Halliburton, Abingdon, United Kingdom

QUARTETnary is an educational card game about the geological time scale. Suitable for ages 7 and up, the game play follows that of the classic card game ‘quartets’, where players aim to collect sets of four cards belonging to a specific group (in this case, a certain geological time period). At the end of the game, the player with the most complete geological time line (i.e., the most quartets) wins the game! 

QUARTETnary consists of 15 different card quartets, each corresponding to a different geological eon, era, or period, starting in the Hadean and ending in the Quaternary. For each quartet, the cards represent key events, animals, or processes. For example, the Hadean consists of 1) the formation of the Moon; 2) Earth’s magma ocean; 3) the layered Earth; and 4) the first occurrence of liquid water on the planet. The cards specifically focus on geodynamic processes (i.e., the presence of supercontinents and the formation of various mountain ranges) and evolutionary developments (i.e., bacteria, land plants, mammals etc.) as well as major global events such as mass extinctions and the Cambrian explosion of life. They are illustrated in accordance with the official colour scheme set by the International Commission on Stratigraphy to ensure easy comparison with the official geological time scale.

Here, we present an update on the development of QUARTETnary (with new cards!) and the projected launch schedule of QUARTETnary’s business plan and Kickstarter campaign, which we will use to produce and distribute the game.

How to cite: van Zelst, I. and Pérez-Díaz, L.: QUARTETnary - The card game about the geological time scale, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9153,, 2023.