Splunk tries to allocate a useful timestamp to the events. This is configurable so if the events are described correctly, the "event time" (if present in the data) can be used. If all else fails, the time that the event is processed is used. So, splunk doesn't really have a single notion of time, it tries to use the most useful available to it. If there are other timestamps within the data, these can still be extracted, e.g. an event may have a start and an end time within the event, these could be extracted into separate fields for the event and one or other or neither be assigned to the timestamp for the event.
... View more