Palynofloras and vertebrates from Muǧla-Ören region (SW Turkey) and palaeoclimate of the Middle Burdigalian-Langhian period in Turkey


Authors: Kayseri Özer MS, Akgün F, Mayda S, Kaya T

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 89, issue 1; pages: 137 - 162; Received 25 January 2013; Accepted in revised form 6 August 2013; Online 6 January 2014

Keywords: palynology, palaeoclimate, palaeovegetation, mammalian fossils, western Anatolia, Miocene,

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The Miocene is the last warm episode in Earth history, and this episode was well recorded in Turkey as shown by plant distribution and inferred numerical temperature values. In this study, Ören-Kultak, Hüssamlar and Karacaağaç palynofloras from western Turkey, which are characterized by the thermophilous plants (Engelhardia, Sapotaceae, Cyrillaceae, Avicennia, Arecaceae, Palmae), are described. Age determinations of these palynofloras (middle Burdigalian-Langhian) are strengthened by the mammalian fossil record (MN4-5) and strontium isotope results. Palaeoclimate is humid and warm subtropical during the middle Burdigalian-Langhian time interval in Europe and Turkey. However, temperature difference has been observed between Europe and Turkey during this time interval and it could be explained by the palaeogeographic position of countries. Despite some discrepancies in the climatic values and palaeovegetation groups, warm climatic conditions are recorded, based on the palynofloras, in Turkey (Çayýrhan, Havza, Çan, Etili, Gönen, Bigadiç, Emet, Kirka and Kestelek, Sabuncubeli, Soma, Tire, Kuloğullarý, Bașçayýr, Hüssamlar and Karacaağaç), Greece and elsewhere in Europe throughout the middle Burdigalian-Langhian period. This warming is related to the Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum period. Carbon and oxygen isotope values obtained from tooth enamel of Gomphotherium sp. from Kultak and Hüssamlar indicate similar ecological condition during the Burdigalian-Langhian time. This isotopic result and high MAPDRY value from the Kultak locality are in agreement with ecological interpretation of mammalian fossils. Besides, according to the precipitation values, central and northwestern Anatolian sites provide more rainfall during the Burdigalian-Langhian time interval than the western Anatolian sites.


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