Hitta hit:
T-bana: Universitetet
Frescativägen 40

Ordinarie öppettider:
Tisdag–fredag 11–17
Lördag–söndag 10–18

  • Huvudmeny

Deep-Sea Ecosystems: Biogeography of Methane-Seep Faunas Through Time


Life in the deep-sea has fascinated both scientists and the public for centuries, yet many evolutionary and biogeographic questions remain controversial. The biogeography of the deep-sea today has a historical basis for which the fossil record provides the most direct evidence.

With this project I aim to provide the first survey and analysis of the biogeographic evolution of deep-sea metazoans through the last 50 million years of Earth’s history on a global scale. The deep-sea methane-seep fauna provides an excellent model system for this purpose:

  1. It consists of characteristic taxa that can readily be identified;
  2. These characteristic taxa are restricted to the deep sea and this restriction is known from the geologic past and even among now extinct taxa;
  3. Seep faunas have a much higher fossilization potential than ‘ordinary’ deep-sea taxa due to the in situ carbonate precipitation at methane seeps.

Based on new material from three key areas and using novel analytical approaches, I will focus on four main questions:

  • Was the Pacific Ocean the center of origin?
  • Was the Atlantic Ocean colonized through the Isthmus of Panama?
  • Which role did the former Tethys Ocean have in faunal dispersal?
  • What were the effects of the Messinian salinity crisis?

This research is funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR)

Project Participants at the Museum

Steffen Kiel (principal investigator)

External Project Participants

CNR-ISMAR, Bologna, Italy

Selected Publications

Kiel, S., Birgel, D., Lu, Y., Wienholz, D., and Peckmann, J. 2021. A thyasirid-dominated methane-seep deposit from Montañita, southwestern Ecuador, from the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 575: 110477.

Kiel, S., Hybertsen, F., Hyžný, M., and Klompmaker, A.A. 2020. Mollusks and a crustacean from early Oligocene methane-seep deposits in the Talara Basin, northern Peru. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 65: 109-138.

Kiel, S., Aguilar, Y.M., and Kase, T. 2020. Mollusks from Pliocene and Pleistocene seep deposits in Leyte, Philippines. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 65: 589–627.

Kiel, S., Altamirano, A.J., Birgel, D., Coxall, H.K., Hybertsen, F., and Peckmann, J. 2019. Fossiliferous methane-seep deposits from the Cenozoic Talara Basin in northern Peru. Lethaia 53: 166-182.

Kase, T., Isaji, S., Aguilar, Y.M., and Kiel, S. 2019. A large new Wareniconcha (Bivalvia: Vesicomyidae) from a Pliocene methane seep deposit in Leyte, Philippines. The Nautilus 133: 26-30.

Amano, K., Miyajima, Y., Jenkins, R.G., and Kiel, S. 2019. The Neogene biogeographic history of vesicomyid bivalves in Japan, with two new records of the family. The Nautilus 133: 48-56.

Hybertsen, F. and Kiel, S. 2018. A middle Eocene seep deposit with silicified fauna from the Humptulips Formation in western Washington State, USA. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 63: 751-768.

Kiel, S. and Taviani, M. 2018. Chemosymbiotic bivalves from the late Pliocene Stirone River hydrocarbon seep complex in northern Italy. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 63: 557-568.

Kiel S 2016. A biogeographic network reveals evolutionary links between deep sea hydrothermal vent and methane seep faunas. Proceedings of the Royal Society B (283): 20162337.