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The Mediterranean and Black Seas

  • A. Vallega
Part of the The GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 78)

Abstract

The Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea occupy some three million square kilometres of marine space. They are supposed to be relics of the ancient Tethys ocean, whose creation dates back to 225 million years ago (Triassic period, Mesozoic era), and whose compression is thought to have initiated 38 million years ago (Oligocene period, Cenozoic era) because of the colliding shift of African and Euro-Asian plates. In light of the common origin of these seas, it would be appropriate to consider them together and to propose, at least as for study purposes, the concept of the Large Mediterranean Marine Region (LMMR), meant as a unique enclosed marine space, linked to the Atlantic Ocean by the Strait of Gibraltar (5 km long, 13 m minimum width, 500 m average depth), and to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean by the Suez Canal (161 km long, 90–100 m surface width, 16.1 m maximum depth). This region would include three distinct sub-regions:
  • the Mediterranean Sea embracing the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean seas, plus the Sicilian Channel and the water interposed between the Sardinian and Spanish coasts;

  • the marine interface between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea embracing the Sea of Marmara, the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits;

  • the Black Sea area together with the Sea of Azov, and the connecting corridor consisting of the Kerchensky Strait. The Mediterranean Sea comprises some 84.4 per cent of the surface and the 87 per cent of the water volume of the LMMR.

Keywords

Gross Domestic Product Continental Shelf United Nations Environment Programme European Economic Community Exclusive Economic Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

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  • A. Vallega

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