Early Formative History
The Tethys Sea, a household concept of the marine zoogeographer, was named by the Austrian geologist Suess after the wife of Okeanos. Tethys, in its classical acceptance (Ekman, 1967) was a relatively shallow warm sea which girdled the globe, more or less at the latitude of the present Mediterranean, and existed more or less undisturbed since Cambrian times. The closure of the Tethys, first in the Levant Region, afterwards at the level of Gibraltar and finally, with the establishing of the isthmus of Panama, had according to Benson et al. (1985) deep-going effects: a prevalent latitudinal warm-water world ocean has been replaced by a longitudinal ocean system, with strongly stratified temperatures. As the polar deep-water current freely penetrated into the new Atlantic Ocean, it replaced the warm deep waters of the Tethys system and eventually induced the general cooling trend of the post-Cretaceous globe.
KeywordsIndian Ocean Suez Canal Tectonic Subsidence Messinian Salinity Crisis Levantine Basin
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