The excavated main lignite seams and overlying lacustrine sediments of the opencast mines Eskihisar, Salihpaşalar, and Tınaz, Muğla Province, south-western Turkey were investigated using a high taxonomic resolution palynological approach.
The Eskihisar section comprises 47m and 56 samples of which 30 were usable for palynological analysis. The Tınaz section comprises 75 m and 29 samples of which 15 were usable for palynological analysis. Finally, the Salihpaşalar section comprises 25 m and 26 samples of which 16 were usable for palynological analysis. The age of the palynological sections is middle to late Miocene based on radiometric dating and vertebrate fossils.
In order to investigate dispersed pollen and spores and their botanical affinities a combined light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy approach was used. The rich palynoflora comprises seven types of algal cysts (Botryococcus, Zygnemataceae), seventeen spore types (Lycopsida, Marsileaceae, Osmundaceae, Pteridaceae, Polypodiaceae), 14 types of gymnosperm pollen (Ephedraceae, Cupressaceae, Pinaceae), five types of monocotyledone pollen (Poaceae, Typhaceae) and ca 90 dicotyledone pollen types (Altingiaceae, Amaranthaceae, Anacardiaceae, Apiaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Asteraceae, Betulaceae, Campanulaceae, Cannabaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Ericaceae, Eucommiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Geraniaceae, Juglandaceae, Lamiaceae, Linaceae, Lythraceae, Malvaceae, Myricaceae, Oleaceae, Onagraceae, Plumbaginaceae, Polygonaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, Sapotaceae, Ulmaceae).
The objectives of this investigation were (1) to evaluate whether the three palynological sections were deposited at the same time, and (2) to show regional vegetation differences within a single sedimentary basin.
We found three general pollen zones corresponding to different sedimentary settings and palaeoenvironments. The first pollen zone was linked to lignite formation (swamp forest, fern spores, Alnus, Decodon). The second pollen zone reflects lacustrine conditions (Typhaceae) and surrounding hinterland vegetation dominated by Fagaceae. The third pollen zone is dominated by herbaceous taxa, whereas woody taxa are less diverse and less abundant.
In general, the three palynological sections are congruent in reflecting distinct pollen zones. However main vegetation types may be represented by different dominating taxa (e. g. Alnus dominace in Eskihisar and Tınaz localities while absent in Salihpaşalar) and rare taxa may differ between localities.
Our results demonstrate that in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of environmental and vegetation conditions in a sedimentary basin, a single palynological section (locality) may not capture the entirety of environmental conditions and changes.
2016. Vol. 18, EGU2016-5800