The Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia, Spain) is a classical area for the study of the Miocene land mammal faunas and includes one of the densest and most continuous records in Eurasia. Furthermore, it is the type area for the Vallesian European land mammal age. After decades of study a huge amount of bio- and magnetostratigraphic data have been collected, allowing an unprecedented dating accuracy. Here we provide an updated local biostratigraphy for the late Aragonian, Vallesian and Turolian of the Vallès-Penedès Basin. This new biostratigraphic scheme is almost exclusively based on fossil rodents, which are the most abundant and one of the best known mammal orders in the area. Our proposal represents a significant refinement compared to previous attempts and provides a formal diagnosis and description of each zone, as well as clear definition of boundaries and a reference locality and section. The chronology of zone boundaries and main bioevents is based on detailed magnetostratigraphic data. The defined biozones allow for the correlation of the sites without associated magnetostratigraphical data. Finally, the correlation of the Vallès-Penedès local zones with other detailed local biostratigraphies, such as those of the Calatayud-Montalbán and Teruel basins (east-central Spain) is discussed. The sequence and chronology of the main bioevents is roughly comparable, although the rodent succession and the structure of the assemblage show important differences between these areas.
University of Barcelona, Faculty of Geology