Seminar Details

Closure of the Tethyan seaway: Timing and effect on Mediterranean and Indian Ocean oceanography




Dr. Or Bialik - Dept. of Marine Geosciences, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa


Through the Miocene (23 to 5 Myr ago) the world oceans have gone through a major reorganization driven by the opening and closing of oceanic gateways. This reorganization had dramatic effects, from restructuring nutrient regimes, spread of oceanic anoxia to global cooling. These in turn effected marine biology in multiple ways including changes to the diversity of coralline algae, expansion coral niches to euphotic range and reduction of calcification by calcareous nannoplankton. As such, understanding the cause, effect and timing of this reorganization is fundamental to the understanding of the long term evolution of many systems. In this talk I will present new constraints of the timing of closure of the connection between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean during the Early and Middle Miocene which ended the oceanic meridional low latitude circulation. From there we will discuss the effect of this circulation change on the formation and establishment of the Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone, changes in Mediterranean circulation and possible effects on Atlantic Ocean.

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