The name "Chibanian," based on a stratum discovered in Chiba Prefecture, is set to represent the geological age when the latest reversal of the Earth's magnetic fields is believed to have occurred, a Japanese national research institute said Monday.

The National Institute of Polar Research said the term meaning "Chiba age" garnered more than 60 percent of votes, beating "Ionian," a name related to stratums in Italy, for a geologic time period from 770,000 to 126,000 years ago in the first screening process at an international academic society.

Although the selection process is not over yet, Japanese researchers expect Chibanian to be formally adopted by the International Union of Geological Sciences by the end of next year, becoming the first name associated with a Japanese place to represent any geologic time period.