The Pannonian Sea was a shallow ancient sea where the Pannonian Plain in Central Europe is now. The Pannonian Sea existed during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, when three to four kilometres of marine sediments were deposited in the Pannonian Basin.
The Pannonian Sea was part of the Paratethys Sea that got separated during the later part of the Miocene Epoch (around 10 million years ago). It was connected with the Mediterranean Sea through the territory of the modern Rona Gulf, Bavaria and Vienna Basin).
Through the Đerdap Strait, the Pannonian Sea was connected to a sea in the Wallachian-Pontic Basin. During its largest geographical extent, the Pannonian Sea reached the south of modern Serbia: a gulf of the Pannonian Sea in the modern Morava river valley stretched to modern Grdelica Gulch and Vranje Depression and was connected to the Aegean Sea through the modern Preševo Valley.
The Pannonian Sea existed for about 9 million years. Its last remains disappeared in the middle of the Pleistocene Epoch, about 600,000 years ago, leaving Lake Balaton and the Neusiedler See . The water of the Pannonian Sea broke through the modern Đerdap Gorge (Iron Gate) on the Danube river and flowed through the gorge leaving behind a large plain known as the Pannonian Plain. The remnants of the former islands of the Pannonian Sea are the modern Pannonian island mountains (Mecsek, Fruška Gora and Vršac Mountains).
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