High-resolution biostratigraphic analyses of Miocene deep-sea cores reveal eight intervals of widespread hiatuses in the world ocean at 23.0–22.5, 20.0–18.0, 16.0–15.0, 13.5–12.5, 12.0–11.0, 10.0–9.0, 7.5–6.2, and 5.2–4.7 m.y. ago. In complete sections these hiatuses correspond to intervals of cool faunal and floral assemblages, rapid enrichment of δ18O, and sea-level regressions. These factors suggest that Miocene deep-sea hiatuses result from an increased intensity of circulation and corrosiveness of bottom currents during periods of increased polar refrigeration.

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