International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Upwelling conditions in the Early Miocene Central Paratethys Sea

Pages: 129 - 145

Authors: PATRICK GRUNERT, ALI SOLIMAN, MATHIAS HARZHAUSER, STEFAN MULLEGGER, WERNER E. PILLER, REINHARD ROETZEL, FRED ROGL

Abstract: Evidence for regional upwelling conditions in the Central Paratethys Sea is presented for mid-Burdigalian (early Ottnangian) times. The oceanographic phenomenon is detected in clay-diatomite successions along the steep escarpment of the Bohemian Massif in the eastern North Alpine Foreland Basin. Interpretations are based on a multi-proxy data-set including published sedimentological and paleontological data, newly performed stable isotope measurements (δ18O, δ13C) of foraminifers and bulk sediment samples, and analyses of dinoflagellate cyst assemblages. The revealed stable isotope values of planktonic foraminifers point to upwelling: low δ13C values indicate strong mixing of surface waters with rising nutrient-rich waters, high δ18O values reflect cool sea surface temperatures (SST). Temperature calculations give SSTs ranging from 10–14 °C. Cool SSTs and high productivity are additionally supported by bulk sediment analyses. Assemblages of dinoflagellate cysts indicate a distal-shelf environment with nutrient-rich waters. Westerly winds and tidal currents are discussed as potential driving forces behind the local upwelling event. As mid-Burdigalian geography favoured strong current patterns in the Central Paratethys as documented in the sedimentary record from the Rhone Basin to Hungary upwelling might have been a more common phenomenon in this epicontinental sea than currently known.

Keywords: Early Miocene, Central Paratethys, upwelling, foraminifers, dinoflagellates, stable isotopes

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