People at Fort Hoofddijk

Karin Sant
K. Sant, MSc
Paleomagnetic Laboratory
Fort Hoofddijk
Department of Earth Sciences 
Utrecht University 
Budapestlaan 17, 3584 CD Utrecht 
The Netherlands 

Phone +31 30 253 5418


Research of Karin Sant

The evolution of the West and Central Paratethys 
during the Early-Middle Miocene: chronology, paleogeography and tectonics

Reliable age data are of key importance for making paleogeographic reconstructions, because they allow us to compare and connect different regions with each other. In my PhD-research I aim to get a better understanding of paleogeographic changes that occurred in the West and Central Paratethys during the Miocene. To do so, I am integrating magnetostratigraphic and radio-isotopic results with data from other disciplines, such as biostratigraphy, sedimentology, geochemistry and structural geology.

During the Lower-Middle Miocene, the evolution of the West and Central Paratethys is controlled by a complex interplay of regional tectonics and global climate changes. At times, a sea strait to the Mediterranean opened and the environments became fully marine. At other times, no connection to the world oceans existed. In these times, many endemic faunal assemblages emerged, which are very difficult to correlate to the global time scale. Therefore, the use of independent dating techniques is very important if we want to compare the Paratethys environments to the global record.

My study area stretches from South Germany to West Romania and has localities in the Molasse Basins (North Alpine Foreland Basin), Pannonian Basin, Dinaride Lake System and Carpathian Foredeeps. On this page I give you an insight into some ongoing fieldwork projects of my PhD.

What is the Paratethys? For background info click on the image. 

Paleogeography of the Paratethys region during the Middle Miocene (~13 Ma). Red box: W. & Central Paratethys

Ugljevik (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Nearby Ugljevik (Bosnia & Herzegovina) we sampled a 143 m thick sequence of marine deposits from the Badenian (early Middle Miocene). Ugljevik is a unique section, because it contains a complete, continuous Badenian succession including the Badenian marine transgression at its base and the Badenian/Sarmatian boundary at the top. 

With a combination of paleomagnetism and biostratigraphy (Dr. Oleg Mandic) we determined the age of the marine flooding (~14.2 Ma) and presented a straightforward relationship with paleogeographic changes in the Paratethys region ánd with bio-events in the Mediterranean.

Bogutovo Selo open pit mine: stratigraphy

Sarajevo-Zenica Basin (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Although the Sarajevo-Zenica Basin is the largest lacustrine basin of the Dinaride Lake System, no proper age constraints are available for its >2000 m thick sedimentary infill. The basin evolution is partly controlled by the same tectonic and climatic mechanisms that control the Central Paratethys region. We are carrying out an intensive, integrated magnetostratigraphic, sedimentologic and structural field study in order to create a chronostratigraphy and understand the interplay in between sedimentation with tectonics.

Preliminiary results suggest an asymmetric extensional basin system in which sedimentation patterns are linked with normal fault activity. The Lower-Middle Miocene age of the infill is probably similar to the other Dinaride Lakes in Bosnia and Croatia.

Drilling and logging in the Sarajevo-Zenica Basin
Other campaigns

Apart from the field projects above, my trips already brought me to cement and underground mines in Serbia, drill core storages in S-Germany and Hungary and (extremely muddy) river sections in Romania.

Molasse Basin (S-Germany)
Magnetostratigraphy on Early Miocene core profiles in the North Alpine Foreland Basin
Morava corridor (Serbia)
Dating of lower and Middle Miocene deposits in the Serbian Lake System
Transylvanian Basin and S-Carpatian Foredeep (Romania)
Age and mode of the Badenian transgression
Pannonian Basin (Central Europe)
Dating and literature study to correlate Karpatian and Badenian strata
Great Hungarian Plain (Hungary)
Newest project. Drill cores of Lake Pannon.

Lower Badenian 'Dej Tuff Complex' in Bobulna, Transylvanian Basin (Romania)

Beautiful cycles in the lacustrine marls of Popovac  (Serbia)

Peaceful Bosnian countryside

Picked grains of sample PP24, Suppl. File S1 of Sant et al. (subm., NoS)

Picked grains of sample PP32, Suppl. File S1 of Sant et al. (subm., NoS)

publicationsPublications of Karin Sant
  • Andrić, N., Sant, K., Matenco, L., Mandic, O., Tomljenović, B., Pavelić, D., Hrvatović, H., Demir, V., and Ooms, J. (2017). The link between tectonics and sedimentation in asymmetric extensional basins: Inferences from the study of the Sarajevo-Zenica Basin, Marine and Petroleum Geology, 83, 305-332. 
  • Sant, K., Mandic, O., Rundić, L., Kuiper, K.F. and Krijgsman, W. (2017). Age and evolution of the Serbian Lake System: integrated results from Middle Miocene Lake Popovac, Newsletters on Stratigraphy, DOI:    
  • Sant, K., Kirscher, U., Reichenbacher, B., Pippèrr, M., Jung, D., Doppler, G. and Krijgsman, W. (2017). Late Burdigalian sea retreat from the North Alpine Foreland Basin: new magnetostratigraphic age constraints, Global and Planetary Change, 152, 38-50.
  • Sant, K., V. Palcu, D., Mandic, O., Krijgsman, W. (2017). Changing seas in the Early-Middle Miocene of Central Europe: A Mediterranean approach to Paratethyan stratigraphy, Terra Novain press 
  • Mandic, O., Pavelić, D., Kovačić, M., Sant, K., Andrić, N., Hrvatović, H. (eds.) 2016. Field Trip Guide-book. Lake - Basin - Evolution, RCMNS Interim Colloquium 2016 & Croatian Geological Society Lim-nogeology Workshop, 19-24 May 2016, Zagreb, Croatia. Hrvatsko geološko društvo / Croatian Geological Society, 80 pp. ISBN 978-953-59036-0-4
  • Sant, K., de Leeuw, A., Chang, L., Czapowski, G., Gąsiewicz, A. and Krijgsman, W. (2015). Paleomagnetic analyses on Badenian–Sarmatian drill cores from the North Carpathian foredeep (Middle Miocene, Poland), Biuletyn Panstwowego Instytutu Geologiznego 461, 179–192.