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The Pannonian basin was a part of the Central Paratethys sea, which existed from Oligocene to Pliocene time. The Paratethys depositional sequence can be divided into three distinct phases: the Eoparatethys, (early Oligocene to early Miocene time), the Mesoparatethys (early Miocene to middle Miocene time), and the Neoparatethys (middle Miocene to Pliocene time). Both the Eo-and Mesoparatethys seas were characterized by only short periods of endemism, but the Neoparatethys was completely isolated from the world ocean system. Thus, the Central Paratethyan biostrati-graphic stages can be well correlated with the Mediterranean stages for the Eo- and Mesopara-tethys, but considerable difficulties exist in correlating the stages of the Neoparatethys with the contemporaneous Mediterranean stages and in correlating stages from one part of the Neoparatethys to another.

In this chapter, we review the key data used to correlate the Central Paratethyan stages with the Mediterranean and worldwide stratigraphic stages. In particular, we concentrate on stratigraphic data from the Pannonian basin in Hungary and on some of the special problems inherent in dating sediments within the Pannonian basin of Oligocene to Pliocene age.

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