Stratigraphic and Palaeoenvironmental Significance of Bartonian–Priabonian (Middle–Late Eocene) Microfossils from the Başçeşme Formation, Denizli Province, Western Anatolia


Abstract: This study explains the stratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental significance of Bartonian-Priabonian (Middle-Late Eocene) fossils, the fauna and flora obtained from the Başçeşme formation of the Çardak-Tokça basin (western Anatolia). The studied sequence is an outcrop from the Başçeşme formation, deposited in a shallow-marine to coastal environment without stratigraphic breaks. Forty genera and 58 species have been recognized in the palynological assemblage of the Başçeşme formation. A well-preserved diverse palynomorph and foraminiferal assemblages yield the Middle-Late Eocene age for the Başçeşme formation. In western Anatolia, mangrove elements Nypa and Pelliciera have been first recorded in this study. The pollen of Mauritia and Acrostichum occur in the back-mangrove environment. Lowland-Riparian and montane elements are characterized by dominance of Myricaceae, Betulaceae, Engelhardia, Fagaceae, Myrtaceae, Anacardiaceae and Taxodiaceae, Pinus, Abies, Picea, Cathaya, Quercus and Castanea, respectively. Fresh-water elements are represented by Sparganiaceae, Pediastrum sp. and Aglaoreidia cyclops. The palynological data for samples taken from the lower part of the section of the Başçeşme formation indicate a back-mangrove environment. The presence of poorly preserved dinoflagellate cysts suggest that sedimentation occurred in a mangrove environment in the upper part of the section. The well-preserved foraminiferal data, along with corals, bivalves and gastropods, indicate that sedimentation ceased in the shallow-marine environment. In this paper, terrestrial climatic conditions of the Başçeşme formation are also discussed on the basis of the coexistence approach.

Keywords: Middle-Late Eocene, mangrove, western Anatolia, benthic foraminifer, palynomorph, palaeoenvironment, palaeoclimate

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