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Abstract

The late Miocene-early Pliocene Lake Pannon was a large, long-lived, brackish lake that occupied the Pannonian Basin system in Central Europe. Traditionally, the stratigraphic subdivision of its several-kilometer-thick sediment pile has been based on fossils of endemic mollusks. For a long time, however, stratigraphers were misled by the unconventional architecture of the lacustrine-deltaic sequence. Due to progradation, the increasingly younger sediment packages have been deposited horizontally next to each other instead of forming a purely vertical succession. This pattern was fully recognized recently by seismic exploration of the basin. Newly interpreted biostratigraphy using anagenetically evolving mollusk lineages (in the littoral and sublittoral facies) and dinoflagellate algae (in the sublittoral and profundal facies) is consistent with this progradation model. The regional Lake Pannon stratigraphy is tentatively correlated with the geologic time scale through mammal stratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, and radio-metric age measurements. This correlation suggests that temporal resolution of the biozones is on the order of 1 m.y.

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