Smart-Geology for the World’s largest fossil oyster reef
A spectacular oyster shell bed is the highlight in the geo-edutainment park "Fossilienwelt Weinviertel" at Stetten in Lower Austria. Around 16.500.000 years ago, sharks, sea-cows and fiant oysters flourished along the coasts of the Paratethys Sea. Its sediments are exposed in the Korneuburg Basin few kilometers north of Vienna. More than 650 different animals and plant species are documented from this worldwide unique fossil site. Yet, this snapshot of a Miocene ecosystem needs modern scientific analysis and interpretation.
Figure 1: left: Geography and geology of the Korneuburg Basin; the Miocene basin fill (blue). The separation into a northern and southern depocenter was already developed in Early Miocene times (Latal et al., 2006), right: artistic reconstruction of the Early Miocene estuary; the area is rotated according to the paleomagnetic data of Scholger (1998) (modified from Harzhauser et al., 2009)
Thus, the FWF project P 25883-N29 "Smart-Geology for the World’s largest fossil oyster reef" will open a new field named "Smart Geology", focusing on visualization technologies in Geology and Paleontology using Photogrammetry. The synergy of those scientific disciplines will bring us to reconstruction of event from the Early Miocene epoch caused by high-energy process of short duration, such as strong storms, underwater landslides, or tsunamis.