The Scientific Committee proposes the following topics and sessions. Sessions can be modified, combined or a new session could be opened, depending on the range and the scientific focus of the submitted abstracts. In brackets, find the name of the chairman/coordinator of each section:

T1: Messinian Salinity Crisis

S.1: Towards a new understanding of the MSC

(Francisco Javier Sierro Sánchez, Marco Roveri)

After decades of intensive research both onland and offshore the Messinian Salinity Crisis is still a matter of strong controversy. Although new findings during the last years have shed light about the evolution of the Mediterranean during this time period, still many questions remain unanswered: How did the Mediterranean evolve from a well-connected Sea to the Atlantic to a restricted, evaporative basin?, Which were the main steps of this restriction?, Was it caused by tectonic uplift at the straits or climate change? How was this restriction recorded in the deep basins?, What was the first evidence of evaporite precipitation in the marginal and the deep basins?, was it coetaneous or diachronous?, correlations of evaporite precipitation in the eastern and western Mediterranean? what happened with the Mediterranean base level during the successive phases of the MSC?, What are the more plausible scenarios during the lago mare event?, What was the response of the deep and shallow marine ecosystems as well as terrestrial vegetation and faunas to the different phases of the MSC?

In this Session we invite all scientists interested on these and other related topics to submit their abstracts and hope this session can contribute with new, stimulating discussions about the MSC that can open future research strategies.

S.2: The effect of the Messinian Salinity Crisis on the Mediterranean fish fauna

(Konstantina Agiadi, Giorgio Carnevale)

Fish are a valuable food resource. However the distribution and abundance of marine fish populations is threatened due to the current climate change. In order to estimate climate change’s impact on fish populations and abundances, it is crucial to acquire a broad picture of their natural variability over time. Historical records provide evidence for natural, non-anthropogenic, processes significantly affecting fish stocks. However, the currently available control data span over a short time period. Paleontological data, on the other hand, reveal, through hindcasting, the long-term effects of paleoclimatic changes on fish species’ distributions and abundances. In particular, it is crucial to investigate the response of the fish faunas to extreme events in the past. In this respect, the Messinian Salinity Crisis constitutes the greatest paleoenvironmental perturbation of the Mediterranean, which has played a key role in determining the modern fish fauna in the entire basin. The latest research results on the composition and distribution of the fish fauna before, during, and after the Crisis are presented in this session, with input from the Paratethyan fauna in this interval and its possible effect on the Mediterranean populations.

 

T2: Mediterranean Paleoceanography

S.3: Advances in Mediterranean Paleoceanography

(Agata Di Stefano, Assimina Antonarakou)

Studying ancient oceans under climate and tectonic configurations not analogous to the modern Earth has potential to provide valuable insights on Earth system processes and their interactions. Past climate changes have been clearly linked with changes in ocean biogeochemistry, including changes in oceanic carbon storage, oxygenation, nutrient cycling, and acidity. Understanding how differences in ocean circulation and ecosystem function contributed to these past changes will help to predict the future response of ocean biogeochemistry to climate change. This session is aimed at exploring how, and why, ocean biogeochemical cycling differed under past climates.

 

T3: Mediterranean Paleoclimatology

S.4: Mediterranean climate changes over the Quaternary

(Isabel Cacho, Katerina Kouli, Fabrizio Lirer)

The Mediterranean is an extraordinary sensor of climate variability and its marine and continental records offer high quality archives to investigate paleoclimate changes. During the Quaternary, after the long-term equilibrium of the Pliocene epoch with the formation of an impressive sapropel record, the global climate evolved towards a progressive cooling. Several key climatic transitions occurred along this time period, whose understanding are still challenging: The early Pleistocene atmospheric changes in the tropical band around 1.9 Ma, the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, the Mid-Brunhes event, glacial rapid climate variability, interglacial climate instability. Mediterranean marine and continental fossil archives can provide key information on those topics due to their direct response to several climate forcings such as orbital-driven changes in the African summer monsoon, global sea level changes and also intensity changes in the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), among others. Even though Mediterranean Thermohaline Circulation (MedTHC) was demonstrated to be highly sensible to changes in the evaporation-precipitation valance of the region, where sapropels constitute the most extreme cases, several other relevant changes still remain unexplored.

We invite contributions that report on progress in the study of continental and marine sedimentary archives covering time intervals of strategic interest in the Quaternary paleoclimatology for understanding land/ocean interactions in the Mediterranean region and neighborhood such as the Marmara, Black and Caspian Sea regions. We encourage presentations that use novel proxy indicators of marine and terrestrial paleo-environments, and hope that the session will balance experimental with theoretical approaches to investigate and reconstruct atmospheric and marine dynamics in the Mediterranean region.

 

T4: Neogene Mammalian successions and dispersals

S.5: Tortonian-Messinian transition on land: Environment, stratigraphy, mammals and vegetation of the classical Pikermi and post-Pikermian sites

(Sokratis Roussiakis, Nikolai Spassov, Madelaine Böhme)

Southern Attica preserves one of the most famous paleontological heritages – the classical bone accumulations of Pikermi, excavated for nearly 180 years and displayed in museums worldwide. Despite its iconic importance for the development of our understanding of Late Miocene large mammal communities, which shapes conceptions of generations of palaeontologist, little is known about its detailed environment, stratigraphy, mammalian succession, and vegetation. Here we report results of new excavations and multidisciplinary investigations exploring Pikermian and post-Pikermian sedimentary environment and stratigraphy (magnetostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy), faunal chronology, vegetation (phytoliths, pollen) and fire dynamics (charcoal), providing high-resolution insights in terrestrial environmental and biotic changes around the Tortonian-Messinian transition. This session provide new data about the evolution of Eastern Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems and palaeoclimate at the advent of the Messinian.

S.6: Mammals (and not only) at the eastern corner

(Dimitris Kostopoulos, George Konidaris)

The Aegean-Anatolian area has for a long time been of great importance with reference to terrestrial animal and plant exchanges among three continents. Climatic and palaeogeographic changes during the Neogene have allowed several migration waves, mainly of mammals, and the Aegean area has acted as a landbridge aiding the dispersal of African and Asian organisms to Europe and vice versa. Ongoing palaeontological research in the area during the past decades has revealed several mammalian fossil localities, which contribute to the study of these migrations, the understanding of mammalian evolution, the reconstruction of palaeoenvironments, the correlation of events and the establishment of a biochronological sequence for the eastern Mediterranean region.

The special session “Mammals (and not only) at the eastern corner” invites submission of papers on:

•                Neogene new mammalian fossil taxa and mammalian fossil localities from the wider Aegean area,

•                local biochronological syntheses and scales,

•                contribution of the Aegean fossil record to the faunal evolution, dispersal events and Mediterranean biostratigraphy,

•                input of Aegean fossil faunas in palaeoecological studies.

S.7: A Revolution in European Biochronology: 40 Years of MN Zones

(Isaac Casanovas-Vilar, Lars W. Van den Hoek Ostende)

The need for more precise correlations between mammal localities and successions resulted in the proposal by French paleontologist Pierre Mein of the Mammal Neogene (MN) zonation in the 1975 RCMNS meeting in Bratislava. From then on, this biochronological scheme has tested the time and witnessed several revisions, but it is still widely used, often being the basic time unit for large-scale paleoecological and evolutionary analyses. However, recent advances in local and regional biochronology in certain European regions have proved that a greater time resolution can be achieved in those areas. In addition, these have questioned the synchronicity and even the order of particular bioevents used to define different MN zones. Another major, although more conceptual point, is if the MN zones should have chronological boundaries or should simply represent an ordered series of sites. This session is aimed to discuss all these topics and review this popular biochronologic scheme, further analyzing its current applicability and geographical extension. As such it includes contributions that will discuss the meaning of the MN zonations; the timing of the bioevents used to define the main units and boundaries in different regions; their use as basic time units in data analysis; their geographic extension; and a comparison with other mammal-based biochronological systems.

 

T5: Mediterranean tectonics – geodynamics

S.8: Inherited Tectonics and Neogene-Quaternary rejuvenation of Faults

(Spyridon Pavlides, Ibrahim Çemen)

Structural discontinuities from earlier tectonic cycles may play a major role in the way that recent and active deformation develops and propagates affecting the development of faults, linkage of fault segments, accumulation of displacement, uplift and subsidence. Since faults do not usually consist of a single, clean fracture the fault zones of complex deformation are important in the recognition of complex boundary conditions.

The geometry and evolution of the space of basins and its sedimentary infill are strongly controlled by several factors related to inherited tectonic structures. In Alpine systems as in other orogenic systems of distinct segments that developed since the Miocene mobile belts are of special importance. Field data and seismic profiles in different rift tectonic landscapes reveal large diversities in style of faulting. Numerical and analogue models, as well, are used to focus on controversial aspects of fault growth Major controlling factors in continental crust. Inherited structures, mechanical barriers and weak zones are likely to alter trajectories of fault propagation, fault growth laws, and fault kinematics.

In this session, we welcome contributions describing and critically discussing different approaches to study of recent developed and active faults. We are particularly interested in studies applying new field data and innovative methodological or multidisciplinary approaches.

S.9: Miocene to present deformation in the Aegean: extension vs. transtension and strike slip tectonics

(Dimitris Sakellariou)

Back-arc deformation processes are widely studied in various convergent plate boundaries on earth. Among them, the Aegean Region is a key area where understanding of the geodynamic evolution and present day kinematics in the overriding plate requires understanding of the interaction between the westward escape of Anatolia along the North Anatolian Fault, the slab roll-back and the southward migration of the Hellenic Arc, and the incipient collision between the Hellenic Forearc and the Libyan promontory south of Crete. Geological, geophysical, seismological, geodetic and other studies and campaigns over the last decades have led to the formulation of several different models and explanations for the Miocene-to-present evolution of the Aegean. Miocene back-arc extensional tectonics with low-angle detachment faults in the Aegean has been evolved into a more complicate deformation pattern since the North Anatolian fault broke westwards into the North Aegean Sea (when exactly it is still debated) and since the onset of collision south of Crete (Pliocene?). In this special session we welcome papers presenting new data and results or interpretations and reviews on the kinematic regime and the geodynamic structure and contributing to the understanding of the dynamically evolving, Miocene-to-present deformation of the Aegean overriding plate.

S.10: Active orogenic arcs and extensional collapse in the Mediterranean

(Dimitris Papanikolaou)

Location and geometry of active orogenic arcs in the Mediterranean and distinction of areas of : 1)compressional synorogenic deformation due to (micro-)plate convergence and /or collision, 2) extensional post-orogenic deformation and collapse and 3) inactive areas. Presence or absence of trenches, volcanic arcs, back-arc basins, subduction zones, thrust and fold belts in the arcs and GPS rates of convergence or rifting. History of the present arcs throughout the Neogene – Quaternary period and changes due to the overall evolution of the Mediterranean.

 

T6: Physical Geography, Sedimentology

S.11: Integrated approaches to study coastal geomorphology and geoarchaeology

(Niki Evelpidou, Stefano Furlani, Emanuele Forte)

Coastal geomorphology is the result of the interaction of marine and subaerial processes and human works. Different approaches were used to study the resulting forms from a quantitative or semi-quantitative point of view. This session would stimulate the debate on the acquisition and interpretation of different kinds of data, such as geological, geomorphological, geophysical, archaeological, etc, aimed at studying the past and present evolution of rock and low-lying coasts in the Mediterranean area. We encourage contributions that aim to clarify the importance and the need of discussing processes and forms, both natural and human-induced, in the context of the Quaternary and recent evolution. Moreover, we expect also contributions that highlight both the trends and the distribution, magnitude and hazard of active processes, such as the extreme events.

 

T7: Marine Geology

S.13: Marine geology of Mediterranean continental margins

(David Piper, George Kontakiotis, George Anastasakis)

This session will cover all aspects of marine geology on Mediterranean continental margins. This includes studies of the overall architecture of margins and its relationship to sediment supply, sea level change and tectonics. We will also include case studies of particular margin segments that deal with seafloor geomorphology, lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and both modern and Pleistocene sedimentary processes and paleoceanography.

 

T8: Environmental Geosciences

S.14: Benthic microfauna as a tool for documenting dynamics in marginal marine environments

(Theodora Tsourou, Efterpi Koskeridou, Hara Drinia)

Aim of this session is to emphasize to the role of benthic microfauna (benthic foraminifera, ostracoda, microgastropods) in recording environmental changes in the sensitive marginal marine environments. Changing climate, tectonics and human activities are involved, affecting these vulnerable areas.

 

T9: Mediterranean and Paratethys

S.15: New integrated stratigraphic results from the Neogene of Paratethys

(Mathias Harzhauser, Sergey Popov)

This session aims to bring together new results from paleontology, cyclostratigraphy, isotope geochemistry, sedimentology, geochronology, and closely related topics, to discuss the major paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatological variations that occurred during the Neogene of the different Paratethys basins. The complex regional histories of these basins are reflected in significant changes in deposition environments and basin dynamics that are both reflected in the sedimentological record and the marine and continental biostratigraphic records. Biogeographic divergence in marine communities may herald the final establishment of geographic barriers while migrations of terrestrial mammal biota are straightforward, but generally poorly dated, proxies in such reconstructions. The considerable synsedimentary geodynamic control resulted often in incomplete stratigraphic sequences with frequent unconformities, erosional surfaces and depositional gaps. We hope to attract geoscientists of different profiles for presenting their actual work and developing future cooperation.

S.16: Paratethys-Mediterranean interactions during the Neogene

(Oleg Mandic, Wout Krijgsman)

Marine gateways play a critical role in the exchange of water, heat, salt and nutrients between oceans and seas and hence impact regional and global climate. Where marine gateways link to marginal basins, the impact of changes to the pattern and volume of exchange on the depositional environment of that basin can be profound. Even subtle changes to the hydrologic budget can alter the temperature, salinity and circulation of the marginal basin and hence transform its entire depositional environment. The Paratethys Sea is a superb example of a marginal basin that experienced extreme environmental changes in response to gateway evolution, such as huge fluctuations in salinity during the Badenian Salinity Crisis, a major biodiversity decrease related to the Badenian Sarmatian Extinction Event, a basin-wide change to more brackish water conditions at the beginning of the regional Sarmatian stage, and marine interactions with the Mediterranean during the Messinian. We hope to attract geoscientists of different profiles for presenting their actual work and aim to develop better insight in the role of gateway dynamics in the Neogene history of both Mediterranean and Paratethys.

 

T10: Neogene Mediterranean Paleogeography

S.17: Restriction of Late Miocene Mediterranean marine gateways

(Luis Gibert, Francesco Dela Pierre)

Late Neogene isolation of the Mediterranean sea produced the last Saline Giant on Earth during the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The maximum isolation of Mediterranean occurred at ~5.6 Ma after the closure of different Betic and Rifian marine passages. Prior to this stage, the gradual restriction favored at ~6 Ma the initial deposition of evaporites in the marginal basins of the Mediterranean. This evaporitic episode was preceded by the accumulation of organic-rich sediments indicating restriction in water circulation and intensification of water column stratification. During the final stage of the MSC, the establishment of a connection with the fresh water Parathethys basin favored the development of brackish environments in the Mediterranean basin (“Lago Mare”). The goal of this session is to discuss the evidence archived in the rock record of the progressive closure of the Mediterranean gateways during the late Tortonian-early Messinian, culminated with the deposition of evaporites about 1 Ma later. Contributions with new data from different disciplines (stratigraphy, sedimentology, geochemistry, paleontology, geomicrobiology etc) on the Miocene restriction and closure of Atlantic and Indian seaways are especially welcome. In addition presentations related to Paratethys-Mediterranean connections, the development of the Gibraltar Strait and the termination of the MSC would be of interest for this session.

S.18: Mediterranean Neogene shallow water systems: Local patterns and global controls

(Fotini Pomoni, Markus Reuter, Thomas Brachert)

The Mediterranean region is well known among geologists for its world class outcrops of Neogene sedimentary rocks. Many now classical studies have dealt with the reefal platforms and temperate carbonate ramps, or the evaporites and marginally marine to lacustrine deposits related to the Messinian Salinty Crisis or the Paratethys. Nonetheless, many pieces of the Mediterranean jigsaw puzzle of environmental gradients and temporal trends remain to be established and to be correlated with the global, deep-marine record. Here, we call for contributions dealing with Neogene shallow water deposits of the Mediterranean region describing the biota, the biogenic associations and biogeographic relationships, the chemical proxy data and palaeoecology, the facies and sedimentary systems. Biogeographic and interdisciplinary studies bringing together data and concepts from different regions and shallow and deep-water environments are especially welcome.

 

T11: Mediterranean Geochemistry

S.19: Hot and cold seeps on the Mediterranean seafloor

(Pavlos Megalovasilis, George Papatheodorou)

Evaluate the impact of hot and cold seeps on the Mediterranean Geochemistry. Hydrothermal spots and Pockmarks affect geochemistry of seafloor and seawater both in local and regional scale and is of prime importance to investigate all the natural sources of various elements and compounds inputs in various forms (particulate, dissolved, gaseous) and their interaction with Mediterranean seawater, seabed and biota in order to estimate the total outcome in geochemical regime of Mediterranean Sea.

 

T12: Sedimentation in the Aegean Volcanic Arc

S.20: Volcaniclastic sedimentation and tephra records in the Eastern Mediterranean

(Namik Cagatay, Georgia Pe-Piper, George Anastasakis)

This session will examine all aspects of Neogene to Quaternary Mediterranean pyroclastic deposits and tephra. This includes: tephrochronology, the biostratigraphic record of pyroclastic deposits and the opportunities for radiometric geochronology, petrology geochemistry and the volcanogenic and sedimentological aspects of the pyroclastic record, both terrestrial and marine as well as on new tephrochronological methods.

T13: Cenozoic environments and biogeography in the E Mediterranean region: the plant view

S21: “Cenozoic plant assemblages in the E Mediterranean region: inferring palaeoenvironments and palaeogeography”

(Thomas Denk)

Intensive collecting during the past few decades has brought to light a massive amount of new Oligocene to Pliocene plant fossil material from Turkey and Greece. Further, current taxonomic revisions of material from classical localities such as Kimi, Lesbos and Güvem (Keseköy) provide a modern framework for comparison of the East Mediterranean material with material from other regions in western Eurasia and make it possible to infer biogeographic relationships. For a number of vertebrate localities, the new plant fossil evidence provides a realistic framework for the reconstruction of the environments sustaining diverse vertebrate faunas.

Sp.S. 1: a NECLIME Symposium focused on Neogene Palaeobotany of the Mediterranean

(Dimitra V. Mantzouka, Torsten Utescher)

The Neogene palaeobotanical record of the Mediterranean and adjacent Paratethys is of great importance to the International scientific community because it provides crucial evidence for correlations between the diversification of plants through time and the evolution of continental environments and plant ecosystems with changes in paleoclimate and palaeogeography. Thus, apart from for further insight into plant systematics and stratigraphy of continental strata, analyses of Neogene palaeofloristic evolutionary trends in the Mediterranean realm and Paratethys complement the results obtained from marine archives and paleogeographic reconstructions. Moreover, the knowledge of the evolution of the plant ecosystems throughout the Neogene is a prerequisite for assessing the subsequent establishment of Mediterranean type vegetation, and its variability throughout the Pleistocene climate cycles.

The present session welcomes contributions on plant macrofossils (fossil wood, leaves, carpoflora) and microfloras from the Mediterranean region and the Paratethys. We invite contributions on the Neogene palaeobotanical record of the area of interest focusing on vegetation and paleoclimate reconstructions from plant proxies, at various spatio-temporal scales and based on different methods or integrated approaches.

This open session is organised in the frame of NECLIME (Neogene Climate Evolution in Eurasia).

Sp.S 2: Late Miocene hominids from the Balkan Peninsular

(David Begun, Nikolai Spassov, Madelaine Böhme)

The Miocene hominid genera Ouranopithecus and Graecopithecus from the Balkan Peninsular, known since nearly half a century, had and still have strong influence on our understanding of hominid evolution. These youngest continental European great apes show several features connecting them to African apes and humans, but still substantial conflicts exist in interpreting characters as homologies, respectively homoplasies, which strongly influence their phylogenetic relations with or within the African ape and human clade. This session reports new materials and investigations using new techniques (mikro-CT), which provide expanded evidence for interpretations of dentognathic features of Ouranopithecus and Graecopithecus.