Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Facies and paleogeography of the Tertiary of the Lower Rhine Basin - sedimentary versus climatic control

  • T. Utescher (a1), V. Mosbrugger (a2) and A.R. Ashraf (a2)

Based on recent studies, the impact of global sea-level and climate change on the paleogeographic and sedimentary evolution of the Tertiary of the Lower Rhine Basin is analysed. It is shown that major changes in global climate and sea-level, such as the high-stand during the Middle Miocene climate optimum, the extreme low-stands near the base of the Tortonian and within the Messinian, are clearly reflected in the sedimentary succession. Continental climate curves, as reconstructed from Tertiary macrofloras of the Lower Rhine Basin, can be correlated with the marine, long-term isotope record. As shown by the analyses, a warm and humid climate with mean annual temperatures above 13°C and mean annual precipitation not below 1000 mm, persisted throughout the Late Miocene to Early Pliocene. Continental, high-resolution, climate data show that Late Miocene alternations of lignites and elastics are rather caused by tectonic and sedimentary processes (such as the repeated migration of the river system) than by major climate changes.

Corresponding author
3 Corresponding author: Torsten Utescher; e-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

B. Buchardt , 1978. Oxygen isotope palaeotemperatures from the Tertiary period in the North Sea area. Nature 275: 121123.

M. Gebka , V. Mosbrugger H.-D. Schilling & T. Utescher , 1999. Regional scale palaeoclimate modelling on soft proxy-data basis - an example from the Upper Miocene of the Lower Rhine Embayment. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 152:225258.

H. Hager , 1993. The origin of the Tertiary lignite deposits in the Lower Rhine region, Germany. International Journal of Coal Geology 23: 251262.

K.G. Miller , R.G. Fairbanks and G.S. Montain , 1987. Tertiary oxygen isotope synthesis, sea level history and continental margin erosion. Paleoceanography 2: 119.

K.G. Miller , J.D. Wright & R.G. Fairbanks , 1991. Unlocking the ice house: Oligocene-Miocene oxygen isotopes, eustasy and margin erosion. Journal of Geophysical Research 96: 68296848.

V. Mosbrugger & T. Utescher , 1997.The coexistence approach - a method for quantitative reconstructions of Tertiary terrestrial palaeoclimate data using plant fossils. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 134: 6186.

A. Schäfer , D. Hilger , G. Gross & F. von der Hocht , 1996. Cyclic sedimentation in Tertiary Lower Rhine Basin (Germany) the ‘Liegendrücken’ of the brown coal open cast Fortuna mine. Sedimentary Geology 103: 229247.

T. Utescher , V. Mosbrugger & A.R. Ashraf , 2000. Terrestrial climate evolution in Northwest Germany over the last 25 million years. Palaios 15: 430449.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Netherlands Journal of Geosciences
  • ISSN: 0016-7746
  • EISSN: 1573-9708
  • URL: /core/journals/netherlands-journal-of-geosciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 1 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 50 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.