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system series step ≈ age ( mya )
after that after that after that younger
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzium 2.588

Zancleum 3.6

Miocene Messinium 5.333

Tortonium 7,246

Serravallium 11.62

Langhium 13.82

Burdigalium 15.97

Aquitanium 20.44

before before before older

The Messinium (also shortened to Messin) is the highest chronostratigraphic stage of the Miocene ( Neogene ) in the history of the earth . Geochronologically, it corresponds roughly to the period between 7.246 and 5.333 million years ago and lasted about 1.9 million years. The stage follows the tortonium and is replaced by the zancleum , the lower stage of the Pliocene .

Naming and history

The stage is named after the city of Messina in Sicily ( Italy ). The step and name were introduced by the Swiss geologist Karl Mayer-Eymar in 1867.

Definition and GSSP

The lower limit is defined by the lowest occurrence of the planktonic foraminifera species Globorotalia conomiozea . The limit lies roughly in the middle of the magnetic polarity chronozone C3Br.1r. The upper limit is at the top of the magnetic polarity chronozone C3r (around 100,000 years before the Thvera normal polar subchronic zone C3n.4n). In addition, the boundary is located near the Aussterbehorizont the calcareous nannoplankton -type Triquetrorhabdulus rugosus (= base of CN10b zone) and the first appearance of the calcareous nanoplankton-type Ceratolithus acutus . The official type profile of the International Commission for Stratigraphy (GSSP = "Global Stratotype Section and Point") is a profile at Oued Akrech near Rabat ( Morocco ).

Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean

During the Messinian, the Mediterranean largely dried up and vaporite episodes of up to 3000 m thick formed in the deepest parts of the basin .

see article Messinian salinity crisis


  • Karl Mayer Eymar: Catalog systématique et descriptif the fossil of terrains Tertiaires qui se trouvent du Musée fédéral de Zurich. Zurich 1867.
  • Felix Gradstein, Jim Ogg, Jim & Alan Smith: A Geologic timescale. Cambridge University Press 2004 ISBN 978-0-521-78673-7
  • Frederik J. Hilgen, Silvia Iaccarino, Wout Krijgsman, Giulia Villa, Cor G. Langereis and Willem J. Zachariasse: The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Messinian Stage (uppermost Miocene). Episodes, 23 (3): 172-178, Beijing 2000 ISSN  0705-3797 PDF .
  • Hans Murawski, Wilhelm Meyer: Geological dictionary . 10th revised and expanded edition. Enke Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-432-84100-0 ( Enke paperback ).

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