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Black Sea desiccation during the Messinian Salinity Crisis: Fact or fiction?
Grothe, A.; Sangiorgi, F; Mulders, Y.; Vasiliev, I.; Brinkhuis, H.; Stoica, M.; Krijgsman, W.; Reichart, G.-J. (2014). Black Sea desiccation during the Messinian Salinity Crisis: Fact or fiction? Geology (Boulder Colo.) 42(7): 563-566.
In: Geology. Geological Society of America: Boulder. ISSN 0091-7613; e-ISSN 1943-2682
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Grothe, A.
  • Sangiorgi, F
  • Mulders, Y.
  • Vasiliev, I.
  • Brinkhuis, H.
  • Stoica, M.
  • Krijgsman, W.
  • Reichart, G.-J.

    The late Miocene Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) was an extraordinary geologic event inthe Mediterranean Basin marked by massive salt accumulation and presumably basin desiccationas a consequence of the reduced water exchange with the Atlantic Ocean. The discoveryof a desiccation deposit in the Black Sea, the so-called Pebbly Breccia unit, was used to claimthat the Black Sea also became desiccated during the MSC. Erosional features interpretedfrom seismic profi les of the Black Sea margin, correlated by some to the Pebbly Breccia unit,were used to support this hypothesis. However, the age of the Pebbly Breccia is poorly constrained,and its origin and relevance to the MSC subject to controversy. Here we presentnew biostratigraphic (dinofl agellate cyst) data from two key sedimentary successions locatedin a deep and a marginal setting of the Black Sea Basin. These records demonstrate that thePebbly Breccia predates the Mediterranean water-level drop during the MSC. We argue thatthe presumed erosional features in the Black Sea Basin are not related to the MSC and likelyrepresent an older Miocene event.

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