Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




Palynofloras of the Kocaçay and Cumaovası basins in western Turkey that belong to a time-span from the late Early to late Middle Miocene (the late Burdigalian-Serravallian) are studied and compared with published palynofloras of Europe and Turkey. Palynological data and numerical climatic results obtained by the coexistence approach indicate palaeoclimate changed from warm subtropical to temperate during the late Burdigalian-Serravallian. Moreover, the palaeoclimates of the Kocaçay and Cumaovası basins are compared with continental palaeoclimatic records of coal-bearing sediments in western Turkey and current temperatures in the İzmir region. According to this comparison, palaeoclimatic results of these basins and other localities in western Turkey show a distinct difference as a result of orographic change. The palaeovegetation in the Kocaçay and Cumaovası basins during the studied time-span was affected by palaeotopography and palaeoclimate. In these basins mixed mesophytic, coniferous forests, and swamp palaeovegetation generally predominated during the late Early-early Middle Miocene. The role of the herbaceous taxa increased at the end of the late Middle Miocene (the Serravallian) in the Kocaçay and Cumaovası basins. It is obvious from the palynomorph data of these basins that grassland palaeovegetation started to expand in the late Middle Miocene. Unlike in Central Europe, where late Burdigalian and Langhian represent a period of outstanding warmth, the so-called Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum, cold month mean temperatures reconstructed in this study point to an ongoing cooling trend, already from the late Burdigalian onwards, possibly related to increasing terrestrial conditions in the study area.

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