Sedimentary response to current and nutrient regime rearrangement in the Eastern Mediterranean during the early to middle Miocene (Southwestern Cyprus)

O. M. Bialik, J. Reolid, D. K. Kulhanek, C. Hincke, N. D. Waldmann, C. Betzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the early and middle Miocene, the Mediterranean had become a restricted marginal marine sea with diminishing and ultimate loss of connectivity to the Indian Ocean. This dramatically changed the heat, energy, freshwater and nutrient budgets across the Mediterranean and most notably in its eastern basin. While one of the most prominent lines of evidence of this change in the Eastern Mediterranean is the onset of sapropel formation, many other aspects of the sedimentary system changed in response to this rearrangement. Here we present a detailed analysis of a hemipelagic succession from southwestern Cyprus dated to the late Aquitanian to the early Serravallian (22.5–14.5 Ma). This sequence is carbonate-dominated and formed during the decoupling of the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. It exhibits sedimentation with mass transport contribution from shallow water carbonates to deeper facies with phosphatization and bottom current (at intermediate depth) interactions. This succession traces both local subsidence and loss of a local carbonate factory. Additionally, it records a shift in bottom current energy and seafloor ventilation, which are an expected outcome of connectivity loss with the Indian Ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110819
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the German-Israel Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF) 1-1336-301.8/2016 (MioEast project) awarded to NDW and CB together with Martin Frank of GEOMAR and was carried by OMB as part of his postdoc period in University of Hamburg , there are presently supported by Marie Skłodowska Curie fellowship ( 101003394 —RhodoMalta). DKK was funded by US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant number OCE-1326927 . Additional data are available via the Figshere repository ( ). The authors would wish to thank the AE Shucheng Xie, as well as Pierre Moissette and an anuniums reviewer for their input.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Drift deposits
  • Pakhna formation
  • Pelagite
  • Phosphogenesis
  • Sapropels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Paleontology


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