A calibrated mammal scale for the Neogene of Western Europe. State of the art

J. Agustí, L. Cabrera, M. Garcés, W. Krijgsman, O. Oms, J. M. Parés

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308 Citations (Scopus)


A magnetobiostratigraphically calibrated mammal scale for the Neogene of Western Europe is presented in this paper. The Mammal Neogene (MN) units originally proposed by Mein [Report on activity RCMNS-Working groups (1975)] have been re-defined here on the basis of first appearances of selected small and large mammal taxa. The chronology of the lower boundaries of each unit had been established mostly after the significant magnetobiostratigraphic framework developed in the last decade in a number of Spanish basins: Ebro, Calatayud-Daroca, Vallès-Penedès, Teruel, Fortuna, Cabriel and Guadix-Baza. In the case of the early and middle Miocene (particularly, MN 1, MN 2 and MN 3), the authors have also taken into account the magnetobiostratigraphic framework developed in the North Alpine Foreland Basin. Some alternative correlations of the magnetostratigraphic data from this last basin are proposed in order to achieve a higher degree of consistence with the data from the Iberian basins. A quite well established magnetostratigraphic calibration of the MN boundaries can be proposed for most of the Neogene, from Middle Miocene to Late Pliocene. On the other hand, the chronological boundaries of the Early Miocene MN units are still poorly constrained due to: (1) scarcity of well-studied, continuous, thick magnetostratigraphic sections; (2) the difficulty in defining the boundaries of the MN zones for this time-span due to the relative homogeneity and persistence of the fossil rodent faunas and the absence of significant large mammal dispersal events. Some of the troubles which arise with the application of the MN units strengthen the need to take into account the palaeobiogeographical meaning of these units and their real suitability to date and correlate through extensive geographic areas. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-260
JournalEarth Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2001


  • Biostratigraphy
  • Dispersal events
  • Europe
  • Fossil mammals
  • Magnetostratigraphy
  • Neogene


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