Article: Biota, palaeoenvironments and biostratigraphy of continental Oligocene deposits of the South German Molasse Basin (Penzberg Syncline)
Six charophyte, 13 mollusc, four ostracod and nine fish otolith taxa are taxonomically described, and one fruit, one seed and two foraminiferal taxa are briefly noted from the Lower Cyrena Beds and the Lower Coloured Molasse of the Sindelsdorf section near Penzberg (approximately 50 km south of Munich). Our palaeoecological and lithological data from the Lower Cyrena Beds suggest a delta plain with lagoons, estuaries, slowly flowing rivers, lakes and swamps. Faunal and floral elements of the Lower Coloured Molasse indicate lacustrine environments. The gastropod Tympanotonos and the tropical to subtropical fish fauna (Eleotridae, Ambassidae and Cyprinodontidae) suggest a warm, at least subtropical climate. Furthermore, Tympanotonos suggests comparisons with Recent molluscan faunas of the mangrove swamps of the West African coast, and thus hints at mangrove vegetation bordering the coasts of the Upper Bavarian Molasse Sea. A biostratigraphical classification for the Oligocene Molasse deposits of the Penzberg Syncline is established for the first time based on otoliths and charophytes. The Lower Cyrena Beds are attributed to the newly defined otolith zone OT-O1/2 and probably correspond to the oldest part of the Chara microcera Zone. The lowermost part of the Lower Coloured Molasse can be correlated both with otolith zone OT-O2 and the Chara microcera Zone. The Sindelsdorf section lies within the Rupelian-Chattian transition zone and thus the chronostratigraphic age is approximately 29-28 Ma.