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Miocene to Recent Sediment Delivery to the Northwest Black Sea

Abstract

The NW Black Sea harbours the basins largest clastic system, currently dominated by the Danube, and the recent success of the Domino-1 well highlights this region's large exploration potential. Our ongoing research is tailored to provide better constraints on the composition and timing of clastic sediments supplied to the Romanian and Ukrainian offshore areas. Both literature reviews and extensive field investigations provide input for palaeo-geographic reconstructions of the circum-NW Black Sea. Special emphasis is placed on an understanding of the spatial, temporal and compositional evolution of the different sediment supply systems. Of particular interest in this respect are the infilling of the Dacian Basin and the progradation of a large East Carpathian Foreland delta across the northern shelf. Base-level changes within both the Black Sea and the Dacian Basin exerted a key control on the supply of clastic sediments to the NW Black Sea. Biostratigraphic correlation of base-level events within and between these Paratethyan basins is, however, notoriously difficult due to the endemic nature and strong environmental dependence of the encountered faunal assemblages. This hampers region-wide sequence stratigraphic models. Recent advances in stratigraphy, primarily based on magnetostratigraphic, radio-isotopic, and cyclostratigraphic dating methods, in combination with high resolution ostracod and dynoflagellate biostratigraphy have significantly improved the correlation potential of widely separated key sedimentary successions. This enables regional base-level events to be identified and allows us to better understand the impact they had upon the sediment supply systems to the NW Black Sea.