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  • Author: Stefan Luthi x
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Integrated high-resolution stratigraphy of a Middle to Late Miocene sedimentary sequence in the central part of the Vienna Basin

In order to determine the relative contributions of tectonics and eustasy to the sedimentary infill of the Vienna Basin a high-resolution stratigraphic record of a Middle to Late Miocene sedimentary sequence was established for a well (Spannberg-21) in the central part of the Vienna Basin. The well is located on an intrabasinal high, the Spannberg Ridge, a location that is relatively protected from local depocentre shifts. Downhole magnetostratigraphic measurements and biostratigraphical analysis form the basis for the chronostratigraphic framework. Temporal gaps in the sedimentary sequence were quantified from seismic data, well correlations and high-resolution electrical borehole images. Stratigraphic control with this integrated approach was good in the Sarmatian and Pannonian, but difficult in the Badenian. The resulting sedimentation rates show an increase towards the Upper Sarmatian from 0.43 m/kyr to > 1.2 m/kyr, followed by a decrease to relatively constant values around 0.3 m/kyr in the Pannonian. The sequence reflects the creation of accommodation space during the pull-apart phase of the basin and the subsequent slowing of the tectonic activity. The retreat of the Paratethys from the North Alpine Foreland Basin during the Early Sarmatian temporarily increased the influx of coarsergrained sediment, but eventually the basin acted mostly as a by-pass zone of sediment towards the Pannonian Basin. At a finer scale, the sequence exhibits correlations with global eustasy indicators, notably during the Sarmatian, the time of greatest basin subsidence and full connectivity with the Paratethyan system. In the Pannonian the eustatic signals become weaker due to an increased isolation of the Vienna Basin from Lake Pannon.


The knowledge economy is a key driver of spatial development in metropolitan regions. A relational perspective on its business activities emphasizes the importance of knowledge-intensive firms and their networking strategies. The aim of this paper is to analyse the spatial networking patterns created by the interaction of knowledge-intensive firms and to place these activities in the theoretical context of the knowledge economy. Our central question is which large-scale interlocking networks and functional urban hierarchies are produced by Advanced Producer Services and High-Tech firms located in Germany. The intra-firm locational networks of these companies are analysed on three spatial scales: global, national and regional. The empirical findings show that the functional urban hierarchy in the German city system proves to be steeper than is claimed by the political debate on German Mega-City Regions.


This introduction to the special issue “German cities in the world city network” provides an overview of the current status of research on urban systems in the knowledge economy, with a particular focus on the German urban system. The first part identifies the knowledge economy, particularly the requirements for geographical and relational proximity along the value chain, as a key driver of contemporary urban development. The second part clarifies the concept of polycentricity, distinguishing between its political and analytical roots, while considering its application on different spatial scales. Based on this discussion, the third part emphasizes the importance of relational thinking in analyzing polycentric urban systems and functional urban hierarchies. This is followed by an outline of the specific contribution of each paper to our understanding of the relational geographies of the German urban space-economy.