Ponto-Caspian Stratigraphy and Geochronology (POCAS)
From the Caspian to Mediterranean:
Stratigraphy, Geochronology, Environmental Change
and Human Response during the Quaternary
The IFC (International Focus Group) POCAS was created within the INQUA SACCOM for the term 2017-2020. As such, it is devoted to the study of the geology of the Ponto-Caspian region during the Quaternary as a single geographic entity, bypassing linguistic/political/disciplinary boundaries, linking continents (Europe and Asia) more closely, and encouraging East-West dialogue and cooperation among researchers.
The Ponto-Caspian is defined here as a chain of intercontinental basins that encompasses the Caspian, Black, Azov seas, the Kerch Strait, the Manych Valley, and their coasts. This chain represents a unique oceanographic system of relict Paratethys basins, which were repeatedly connected and isolated from each other during the Quaternary. This predetermined their environmental conditions and hydrologic regimes, and imposed specific impacts on diverse biological populations. Due to its geographical location and semi-isolation from the open ocean, this region acts as a paleoenvironmental amplifier and a sensitive recorder of climatic events, in particular glacial-interglacial cycles on the Eastern European Plain and mountains, as well as transgressive-regressive sea-level variations of the World Ocean; thus, it can be considered as a stratotype region where geological history is well recorded in a long series of marine and continental sediments to be used for the development of the Pleistocene stratigraphy and geochronology of Northern Eurasia.
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