Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 8, Issue 12, pp 11149–11159 | Cite as

Palynological reconstruction of climate and paleoenvironment during the lower to middle Miocene in northeast Tunisia

  • Nadia Ben MoktarEmail author
  • Beya Mannaï-Tayech
Original Paper


The pollen analysis of the sedimentary series of marine origin outlines the environmental and climatic context of the Northeastern Tunisia during the Lower to Middle Miocene. The analysis of the pollen sequence reveals a changing climate: (1) a subtropical climate during Burdigalian (importance of mega-mesothermal and mesothermal elements as Taxodium, Oleaceae, and Fagaceae) and (2) a tropical climate during the upper Langhian-lower Serravallian (megathermes elements (Avicennia and Acacia). This phase corresponds to the Miocene climatic optimum (MCO). The identified pollen associations helped organize the vegetation of the period in altitudinal levels (high areas, plain littoral environment, and river frontiers). As far as the inferior to middle Miocene is concerned, we noticed the existence of a diversified forest, which developed an average altitude with conifer trees of high reliefs. The plain which was dominated by Poaceae and Asteraceae was relatively small. The coastal environment is defined by the presence of Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae and Ephedra. A correlation with known results for other Tunisian and Mediterranean regions, on the one hand, and a comparison with the current climate of Tunisia, on the other hand, have been completed.


Palynology Flora Climate Northeast Tunisia 



We would like to thank A. Bertini for the authorization of pollen analysis in her palynology laboratory at the Degli Studi University in Florence, Italy. Her remarks and comments were very valuable and rewarding. We also wish to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on the text. Their constructive comments and suggestions have greatly improved the quality of the text.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences of TunisUniversity of Tunis El ManarTunisTunisia

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