International scientific journal

ISSN: 2663-0419 (electronic version)

ISSN: 2218-8754 (print version)

International scientific journal

ISSN: 2663-0419 (electronic version)

ISSN: 2218-8754 (print version)

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

Palynoflora of the Maikop formation (Late Oligocene – Early Miocene) and its significance for stratigraphy and paleogeography of Azerbaijan

Bayramova Sh.1, Taghieva E.N.2

1 Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Azerbaijan 119 H. Javid ave., Baku, AZ1143:

2 Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Institute of Geography named after H.Aliyev, Azerbaijan 115 H.Javid ave., Baku, AZ1143:



The research reconstructs some elements of climate and vegetation of the Shamakhi-Gobustan region in the Late Oligocene – Early Miocene, using the approach of co-existing palynoflores obtained from published literature sources and current palynological studies. The results show that sedimentation occurred mainly within warm subtropical climatic conditions during the Rupelian and Early Chattian stages (mean annual temperature (MAT) 16.5-21.3°C and mean temperature of the coldest month (CMT) 5.5-13.3°C). In the second half of the Chattian, the climate becomes cooler, with the invasion of the heat-dominant small-leaved Turgai flora into the fairly still representative Poltava flora. In the Late Miocene (Caucasian age), conditions in the region are stabilized and temperatures acquire values similar to those of the Early Oligocene. The diversity of species, representatives of mountain forests indicates the presence of the lower and middle stages and differentiation of vegetation by altitudinal belts. Analysis of palinospectra from the sections of the Shamakha-Gobustan region and the discovered leaf flora indicates dominance in the Maikop on the southern coast of the Caucasian island of forest vegetation with the participation of moisture-loving tropical, subtropical evergreen and deciduous forms along with mesophilic, warm-temperate and moderate representatives.


Keywords: palynocomplexes, Oligocene, Miocene, Maikop Formation, pollen and spores, South Caucasus




Abich W.H. A brief overview of the structure of the Apsheron Peninsula and some information about the mineral products of Baku province. Western Caucasus Department of the Russian Geographical Society, book VI, 1864, 129 p. (in Russian).

Abreu V., Nummedal D. Miocene to Quaternary sequence stratigraphy of the South and Central Caspian basins In (P.O.Yilmaz and G.H.Isaksen, ed.): Oil and gas of the Greater Caspian area: AAPG Studies in Geology, Vol. 55, 2007, pp. 65-86.

Abdullayev E., Baldermann A., Warr L.N., Grathoff G., Tağıyeva Y.N. New constrains on the depositional environment of the Eastern Paratethys: Implications from the Miocene Diatom Suite (Azerbaijan). Sedimentary Geology, Vol. 411, 2020,

Aghayeva V., Sachsenhofer R.F., van Baak C.G.C., Bechtel A., Hoyle T.M., Selby D., Shiyanova N., Vincent S.J. New geochemical insights into Cenozoic source rocks in Azerbaijan: implications for petroleum systems in the South Caspian region. Journal of Petroleum Geology, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2021, pp. 349-384,

Akhmetev M.A. Climate of the globe in the Paleocene and Eocene according to paleobotany. In the book: (Semikhatov M.A. and Chumakov N.M. eds.) Climate in the epoch of major biospheric restructurings. Chapter 1. Nauka. Moscow, 2004, 299 p. (in Russian).

Akhmetev M.A., Zaporozhets N.I., Golovina L.A., Popov S.V., Sychevskaya E.K., Efendieva M.A., Feyzullaev A.A., Aliev C.S. New data on the stratigraphy of Maikop deposits of Central Gobustan. Stratigraphy and sedimentology of oil-and-gas bearing basins, No. 1, 2007, pp. 32-53 (in Russian).

Akhmetiev M.A., Zaporozhets N.I. New finds of palm trees from the Oligocene deposits of Darry-Dag (Nakhichevan ASSR). Bulletin of the Moscow Society of Nature Testers. Geological Department, No. 64, Issue 6, 1989, pp. 57-67.

Alizade A.A. The Maikop Formation of Azerbaijan and its oil and gas content. Azneft publishing house. Baku, 1945, 489  p.  (in Russian).

Alizade К.А., Uznadze M.D. Materials for the study of the Paleogene flora. Trudy of the Azerbaijan industry inst. Baku, No. 4, 1951, pp. 39-48 (in Russian).

Atlas of Oligocene spore-pollen complexes in various regions of the USSR. Gosgeoltekhizdat. Moscow, 1956, 312 p. (in Russian).

Atlas of Miocene spore-pollen complexes in various regions of the USSR. Gosgeoltekhizdat. Moscow, 1956, 460 p. (in Russian).

Azizbekov Sh.A. Geology of the Nakhichevan ASSR. Gosgeoltekhizdat. Moscow, 1961, 502 p. (in Russian).

Bayramova Sh., Tagieva E.N., Babazade A.D. Micropaleontological studies of the Maikop series sediments of the southeastern end of the Greater Caucasus (Azerbaijan). ANAS Transactions, Earth Sciences, No. 1, 2021, pp. 56-74, DOI: 10.33677/ggianas20210100055 (in Russian).

Bechtel A., Movsumova U., Pross J., Gratzer R., Coric S., Sachsenhofer R.F. The Oligocene Maikop series of Lahich (eastern Azerbaijan): Paleoenvironment and oil-source rock correlation. Organic Geochemistry, Vol. 71, 2014, pp. 43-59,

Bogdanovich K.I., Gubkin I.M., Prokopov K.A., Chernotsky S.I. Report on the activities of the Geological Committee for 1911. Proceedings of the Geological Committee, Vol. 31, 1912, 57 p. (in Russian).

Borzenkova I.I. Climate change in the Cenozoic. Gidrometeoizdat St. Petersburg, 1992, 247 p. (in Russian).

Climate in the epoches of major biospheric restructuring (Semikhatov M.A., Chumakov N.M., eds.) Nauka. Moscow, 2004, 299 p.  (in Russian).

Climate Atlas IWMI. 2002, , New et al.

Dolukhanov P.M. History of the Mediterranean Seas. Nauka. Moscow, 1988, 144 p. (in Russian).

Efendiyeva M.A. Anoxia in waters of the Maikop paleobasin (Tethys Ocean, Azeri sector), with implications for the modern Caspian Sea. Geo-Mar Lett., 2004, Vol. 24, pp. 177-181.

Feyzullayev A.A., Tagiyev M.F., Ismailova G.G. Hydrocarbon potential of the Maikop deposits of the Shеmakha-Gobustan region. J. Azerbaijan Geologist, No. 5, 2000, pp. 110-119 (in Russian).

Filippova N.Yu. Palynology of the Upper Pliocene – Middle Pleistocene deposits in the Southern Part of the Caspian Region. GEOS. Moscow, 1997, 164 p. (in Russia).

Felix J. Study of fossil wood from the Caucasus. Ztsch. D. Deutsch. Geol. Gesselsch. Berlin, Vol. 46 (1), 1894, p. 88-129 (in German).

Ganzey S.S. Chronology of Late Cenozoic Ponto-Caspian paleogeographic events (based on the track method). Abstract of PhD dissertation. Moscow State University Press. Moscow,  1984, 24 p. (in Russian).

Grichuk V.P. Paleobotanical indicators of paleoclimatic reconstructions. In: Methods of paleoclimate reconstruction. Nauka. Moscow, 1985, p. 20-28 (in Russian).

Golubyatnikov D.V. The main results of geological works, carried out on Apsheronsky peninsula in 1903. Proceedings of the Geological Committee, 1904, Vol. 23, No. 5-6 (in Russian).

Grimm E.C. CONISS: a FORTRAN 77 program for stratigraphically constrained cluster analysis by the method of incremental sum of squares. Comput. and Geosci., 1987, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 13-35.

Hudson S.M., Johnson C.L., Efendiyeva M.A., Rowe H.D., Feyzullayev A.A., Aliyev Ch.S. Stratigraphy and geochemical characterization of the Oligocene-Miocene Maikop series: Implications for the paleogeography of Eastern Azerbaijan. Tectonophysics, Vol. 451, 2008, pp. 40-55,

Iversen J. Viscum. Hedera and Ilex as climatic indicators. A contribution to the study of the Post-Glacial temperature climate. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar, Vol. 66, 1944, pp. 463-483.

Jabarova H.S. Some data on Maikop vegetation according to the data of spore-pollen analysis of Yalama area (Azerbaijan). Doklaly  AN Azerb. SSR, Vol. 16, No. 1, 1960 (in Russian).

Jabarova H.S., Kasumova G.M. Additional materials on fossil plants from the Maikop deposits of Talysh (based on plant prints and data from spore-pollen analysis). Doklaly  AN Azerb. SSR, Vol.18, No. 11, 1961, p. 1081-1083 (in Russian).

Karevskaya I.A. Spore-pollen analysis in paleogeographic and geomorphological studies. Tutorial.  MSU. Faculty of Geography. Moscow, 1999, 113 p. (in Russian).

Kasumova G.M. On the flora of the Lower Oligocene in the Darrydag region (Nakhichevan). Doklaly  AN Azerb. SSR, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1961, pp. 161-162 (in Russian).

Kasumova G.M. Flora of Oligocene deposits of the northeastern foothills of the Lesser Caucasus. Publishing House of Academy of Sciences of the Azerb. SSR. Baku, 1966, 85 p. (in Russian).

Khain V.E., Shardanov A.N. Geological history and structure of Kur River depression. Publishing House of Academy of Sciences of the Azerb.SSR. Baku, 1952, 237 p. (in Russian).

Khalilov G.A. Paleogeomorphology of the Azerbaijan part of the Greater Caucasus in the Oligocene-Early Miocene era of the Neotectonic stage. Bulletin of BSU. Science Series, 2000, No. 1, pp. 204-211 (in Russian).

Keller G. Paleoclimatic analylises of Middle Eocene through Oligocene planktic foraminiferal faunas. Marine Micropaleontology, Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. Amsterdam, Printed in the Netherlands, 1983, pp. 463-486.

Mamedov A.V., Rabotina E.N. Landscape and climatic conditions of the Eocene and Oligocene in the territory of Azerbaijan. Proceedings of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Ser. Geographical, Moscow, No. 5, 1990, pp. 79-87 (in Russian).

Neveskaya L.A., Goncharova I.A., Ilyina L.B. et al. East Paratetis regional Neogene stratigraphic scale. Soviet geology, No. 9, 1984, pp. 37-49 (in Russian).

Palibin I.V. Stages of development of the flora of the Caspian littoral countries since the Cretaceous period. Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Moscow, 1936, M.; L. 60 s.

Palibin I.V. Lower Oligocene flora of Mount Darrydag in the Araks basin (Transcaucasia). Proceedings of the Botanical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, series 1, No. 6, 1947, pp. 7-27 (in Russian).

Popov S.V., Antipov M.P., Zastrozhnov A.S., Kurina E.E., Pinchuk T.N. Sea level fluctuations on the northern shelf of the East Paratetis in the Oligocene-Neogene. Stratigraphy. Geological Correlation, 2010, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 99-124 (in Russian).

Popov S.V., Tabachnikova I.P., Bannikov A.F., Sychevskaya E.K., Pinchuk T.N., Akhmetyev M.A., Zaporozhets N.I., van der Boon A., Kryshman W., Stolyarov A.S., Krkhovski Y.A. Lectostratotype of the Maykopian series along the Belaya River above Maykop town (Western Ciscaucasia) in its Oligocene part. Stratigraphy. Geological Correlation, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2019, с. 70-92, DOI: (in Russian).

Sachsenhofer R.F., Popov S.V., Akhmetiev M.A., Bechtel A., Gratzer R., Groß D., Horsfield B., Rachetti A., Rupprecht B., Schaffar W.B.H., Zaporozhets N.I. The type section of the Maikop Group (Oligocene-lower Miocene) at the Belaya River (North Caucasus): Depositional environment and hydrocarbon potential. Journal AASP Bulletin, Vol. 101, No. 3, 2017, pp. 289-319,

Salaev S.G. Oligocene-Miocene deposits of the southeastern Caucasus and their oil and gas content. Publishing House of Academy of Sciences of the Azerb.SSR. Baku, 1961, 253 p. (in Russian).

Stratigraphic Dictionary of the USSR. Paleogene. Neogene. Quaternary system. Nedra. Leningrad, 1982, 616 p. (in Russian).

Sultanov K.M., Isaev S.A. Paleobiogeochemistry of mollusks of Azerbaijan. Elm. Baku, 1982, 180 p. (in Russian).

Shatsky N.S., Menner V.V. Miocene of the southeastern end of the Caucasus. Bulletin of the Moscow Society of Nature Testers, Vol. 5, book 1, 1927 (in Russian).

Shakhbazova V.G. Vegetation and climate of the Maikop time of eastern Azerbaijan according to spore-pollen analysis. Collection No. 4 of the Azerbaijan Paleontological Society, 2001, pp.119-123 (in Russian).

Shatilova I., Mchedlishvili N., Rukhadze L., Kvavadze E. The history of the flora and vegetation of Georgia (South Caucasus). Georgian National Museum Institute оf Paleobiology. Tbilisi, 2011, 200 p.

Szafer W. The Pliocene flora of Krościenko in Poland. Vol. 1, 2. Pol. Akad. Umiej. Krakow, Poland, 1946 (in Polish).

Tagiyeva E.N. Evolution of natural conditions of Azerbaijan in the Cenozoic. Proceedings of the NAS of Azerbaijan. Earth Sciences, 2008, No. 2, pp. 106-116 (in Russian).

Tagiyeva E.N. Evolution of vegetation and climate of Azerbaijan in Cenozoic. Abstract of Doctoral (Geografical) Dissertation, Institute of Geography of NAS of Azerbaijan, Baku, 2011, 371 p. (in Russian).

Traverse A. Paleopalynology. Springer. 2007, DOI:10.1007/978-1-4020-5610-9.

Yarmolenko A.V. Fossil wood of the Maikop formation of southeastern Transcaucasia. Proceedings of the Botanical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Ser. 1, No. 5, 1941, p. 7-34 (in Russian).

Yasamanov N.A. Landscape and climatic conditions of the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Paleogene of the South of the USSR. Nedra. Moscow, 1978, 224 p. (in Russian).

Zubakov V.A. Global climate events of the Neogene. Hydrometeoizdat. Leningrad, 1990, 223 p. (in Russian).

Zaporozhets N.I., Akhmetyev M.A. Paleobotanical study of the section of the Maikop series of the Oligocene-Lower Miocene along the Belaya River above the city of Maikop, Ciscaucasia. Stratigraphy. Geological Correlation, Vol. 25, No. 6, 2017, pp. 61-83,DOI: 10.7868/S0869592X17060047 (in Russian).

Zachos J.C., Pagani M.O., Sloan L.C., Thomas E., Billups K. Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global Climate 65 Ma to Present. Science, Vol. 292(5517), 2001, рр. 686-693.


DOI: 10.33677/ggianas20230100091