Between local zones and MN units: A new inter-basinal rodent zonation for the late Neogene of Spain

Jan A. van Dam, Pierre Mein, Miguel Garcés, Ronald T. van Balen, Marc Furió, Luis Alcalá

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic


Since the appearance of the first major magnetostratigraphic studies covering the late Neogene of Spain
(e.g., Opdyke et al., 1997; Garcés et al., 1998) the number of Spanish continental sections with a correlation
to the Geomagnetic Time Scale has steadily grown. Nonetheless, well-calibrated sections with a dense record
are still rare, between-basin biostratigraphic correlation is not straightforward, and ages of uncalibrated sites
are poorly constrained. Given the overall similarity of rodent assemblages between Iberian basins during
the interval MN11–MN17 (9–2 Ma), the definition of a system of Iberian rodent zones for this interval is a
logical and necessary step leading to improved correlations. Our revision thus entails the integration of local
biozonations into a single Iberian biostratigraphic framework. The inferred series of zone boundary ages are
used to improve the age estimates for most Iberian micromammal sites.
The chronological backbone in our approach is formed by the available Iberian magnetochronologic records
(Teruel, Cabriel, Júcar, Jumilla-La Celia, Fortuna and Guadix-Baza Basins). After analyzing similarities in taxonomic
composition and turnover across basins with a defined biozonation (Teruel, Bajo Segura, Alcoy, Granada and
Guadix-Baza Basins), 15 Iberian biozones were defined for the 9–2 Ma interval. Age uncertainty intervals for
each boundary and for most Iberian micromammal sites were inferred using additional information on local
sedimentation and/or evolutionary rates.
Among our results are new ages for the latest Tortonian and earliest Messinian (MN12–MN13 transition, 8–7
Ma), a thus far poorly dated interval on the Iberian Peninsula. The new chronology for this interval is based on
the integrated stratigraphic records of the Jumilla-La Celia and Teruel Basins. Sections in the Jumilla-La Celia
basin (eastern Betic Cordillera; Van Balen et al., 2015) were sampled paleomagnetically, further constraining
the ages of various MN12-correlative sites (Van Dam et al., 2014). Finally, regular bedding patterns in sections
near Concud in the Teruel Basin (eastern Central Spain) were interpreted cyclostratigraphically and used as
a tool in addition to magnetostratigraphy for dating several classical and newly sampled MN12-correlative
mammal sites in the area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract Book & Fieldtrip Guide
Subtitle of host publicationNOW 25th Anniversary Meeting, Sabadell (Barcelona), 16-18 November 2022
EditorsIsaac Casanovas-Vilar, David M. Alba
Place of PublicationBarcelona
PublisherICP Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont
ISBN (Print)978-84-09-45655-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePaleontologia I Evolució, Memòria Especial


  • Neogene
  • Spain
  • Rodentia
  • Biostratigraphy
  • Geochronology


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