Berggren, William A. Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:April 2016
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- Tectonics and volcanism
- Ocean currents and climate
- Sea-level changes
- Terminal Miocene salinity crisis
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The fourth oldest of the five major worldwide divisions (epochs) of the Tertiary Period; also referred to as the first epoch of the Neogene. Named by by Charles Lyell in 1833, the Miocene represents the interval of time from the end of the Oligocene to the beginning of the Pliocene and the rocks (series) formed during this epoch (Fig. 1). The Miocene was originally considered as a biostratigraphic (rather than temporal) entity, to unite rocks containing 20–40% extant molluscan species. Lyell based his concept of the Miocene primarily on the shallow marine sediments and associated molluscan faunas in the Superga Hill of northern Italy (near Turin), as well as other Piedmont localities and outcrops in southwestern France (Aquitaine Basin), Touraine, and the Vienna Basin. See also: Pliocene; Oligocene; Tertiary
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