STRATI 2013 pp 113-117 | Cite as

Palynology as a High-Resolution Tool for Cyclostratigraphy in Middle Eocene Lacustrine Sediments: The Outstanding Record of Messel (Germany)

  • Olaf K. LenzEmail author
  • Volker Wilde
  • Walter Riegel
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


The annually laminated oil shale from the early middle Eocene maar lake at Messel provides unique palaeoenvironmental and climatological data for a time interval of ~640 kyr during the Palaeogene. Therefore, the research core Messel 2001 opened a unique window into ecological changes in the Palaeogene greenhouse environment, which are documented at the site by an undisturbed succession of 230 m of lacustrine sediments including >90 m of varved oil shale. For studying these sediments with respect to short-term climate variations, we applied different approaches such as high-resolution palynology and varve analysis. As a result, we have found changes in the vegetation following Milankovitch cycles in the range of precession, obliquity, and eccentricity as well as sub-Milankovitch cycles. Furthermore, ENSO signals have been detected in the varves.


Middle Eocene Maar Lake Palynology Climate variability Eocene ENSO Milankovitch cycles 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TU Darmstadt, Institute of Applied Geosciences. Applied SedimentologyDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, PalaeobotanyFrankfurt am MainGermany
  3. 3.Faculty of Geosciences and Geography and GeobiologyUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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