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U–Pb geochronology of zircons from fossiliferous sediments of the Hajnáčka I maar (Slovakia) – type locality of the MN 16a biostratigraphic subzone


Lacustrine sediments of the Hajnáčka I maar of southern Slovakia contain teeth and skeletal remains of a mammal fauna, including index Early Villanyian arvicoline rodents. U–Pb dating of magmatic zircons extracted from the redeposited fossiliferous maar sediments revealed a total of six volcanic events. The oldest age of 3.43 Ma was interpreted as that corresponding to the initial phreato-magmatic eruption that created the maar. Most zircons grouped around 3.06 ± 0.03 Ma, the age attributed to the catastrophic eruption that killed the mammal assemblage thriving within and around the maar studied. This age coincides with the 3.1 Ma boundary between the MN 16a and 16b subzones of the European Mammal Neogene chronostratigraphic scale estimated from the succession of Early Villanyian palaeontological localities according to the hypsometry of rodent teeth. Younger zircon ages overlapped those of the neighbouring basaltic lava flows, necks and dykes, thus recording superimposed effusions. The youngest 1.58 Ma old zircon defines the age limit for the final redeposition of the fossiliferous sediments in the maar drainage lake regime.

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