Pre-collisional geodynamics of the Mediterranean Sea: the Mediterranean Ridge and the Tyrrhenian Sea

J. Mascle, E. Chaumillon


Today the Mediterranean Sea consists of a series of small-sized and almost geographically disconnected oceanic or continental crust rooted marine basins. It is also an area almost totally surrounded by mountain ranges, which chiefly belong to the alpine realm. This overall geodynamic setting results from a long term convergence between the two major, African and European, plates. Previous collisions have led to the edification of surrounding chains, while subduction and new-collisional processes tend to create new extensional back-arc basins and wide tectonized accretionary prisms. In this paper we briefly outline the most recent and almost land-locked back-arc basin that has developed in the Mediterranean,i.e., the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the Mediterranean Ridge, which may be regarded as a collisional sedimentary wedge predating a future mountain chain.


Mediterranean Sea;collision;backarc;accretionary prism

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X