The Messinian terrestrial record in the Pyrenees: The case of Can Vilella (Cerdanya Basin)

Jordi Agustí*, Oriol Oms, Marc Furió, María Jesús Pérez-Vila, Eduard Roca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a survey on the Messinian section of Can Vilella, in the intramontane basin of La Cerdanya (Pyrenees) is presented. The mammalian association, composed of insectivores, rodents and lagomorphs, is a very atypical one compared to other late Turolian (Messinian) assemblages from Spain and Western Europe, including Central European taxa such as Epimeriones aff. austriacus, which are very rare or absent in the late Miocene from Spain and, even, from Western Europe. The palynological record indicates a riparian forest with abundance of marshy herbs. A magnetostratigraphic study reveals a reverse polarity span for most of the section, whereas in the upper part normal polarities are found. According to the magnetobiostratigraphic correlation established in other basins, the normal geomagnetic episode at the top of the section should correspond either to chron C3An.2n or C3An.1n. In any case, the Can Vilella association clearly predates the onset of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) in the Mediterranean. This means that the set of climatic and palaeogeographic events associated with the MSC cannot account for the anomalous association from Can Vilella. A discussion as to whether an altitudinal component could be responsible for such an anomaly is undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2006


  • Cerdanya Basin
  • Dispersals
  • Mammals
  • Messinian
  • Pollen
  • Pyrenees


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