Palaeogeography of the Danube and Its Catchment

  • Domokos Miklós
  • Ferenc Neppel


The paper describes, as one of the possible interpretations, the present knowledge about the development of the Danube Catchment and its associated river system over some 25 million years. Both the fragmentary information scattered over a great number of pertinent publications in the palaeogeographic literature and hints given in the correspondence by the participating experts from 13 Danube Countries of the period 1993–1999, were pooled in one coherent concept after some necessary co-ordination and filling of gaps. The information presented in the paper is mostly fact-based, although necessarily some hypotheses had to be included as well. Consequently, one can expect that the picture drawn here will undergo further refinements in the future when new insights will be gained. A compact overview of the palaeogeographic history of the Danube Catchment is given in Table 3.1, listing the major events taking place during the various eras of the Earth’s history and referring to the pertinent illustrations. The major findings regarding the development of the network of water bodies in the Catchment are illustrated in a series of nine palaeogeographic maps, each of which displays the state of the water system during a certain geological epoch (Figs. 3.9–3.17).


Danube Catchment Danube River Synoptic palaeogeographic map Palaeogeographic development Orogeny Erosion Accretion Paratethys Sea Pannonian Sea Glaciation Tributary Tectonic uplift Transgression Alps Carpathians Great Hungarian Lowland Romanian Lowland 



The Authors heartily thank the experts co-operating in the compilation of the project report serving as a basis for preparing the present paper: C. Bondar, V.-A. Stănescu and D. Cernea (Romania), D. Gavrilović (Croatia), S.G. Gergov (Bulgaria), E. Gölz and K. Hofius (Germany), I.V. Grepachevsky (Moldavia), M. Koscal, L. Menković and M. Marković (former Yugoslavia), V. Manukalo (Ukraine) and A. Stančík (Slovakia). Without their valuable contributions, the compilation of the follow-up volume “Palaeogeography of the Danube and its Catchment” to the Danube Monograph (RCDC 1999) would not have been possible. Special thanks are due to the reviewers of that follow-up volume: E. Dudich (Budapest) and E. Gölz (Koblenz, Germany), for their valuable suggestions and corrections. The technical production of the series of coloured palaeogeographic maps (Figs. 3.93.17) was carried out by K. Stelczer.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Surface Waters, Research Institute for Environment and Water (VITUKI)BudapestHungary
  2. 2.Groundwaters, Research Institute for Environment and Water (VITUKI)BudapestHungary

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