Seismic Atlas of the Messinian Salinity Crisis markers in the Mediterranean and Black Seas - Vol.1


Seismic atlas of the Messinian Salinity crisis markers in the Mediterranean and Black Sea
72 pages + CD
In English only
Geological Society of France & CCGM 2011
Authors: J. Lofi, J. Déverchère, V. Gaullier, H. Gillet, C. Gorini, P. Guennoc, L. Loncke, A. Maillard, F. Sage and I. Thinon


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The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) is a succession of extraordinary events that have profoundly altered the Mediterranean area in a very short period of time on a geological scale.

The book "Seismic Atlas of the Messinian Salinity markers in the Mediterranean and Black seas" is the result of a collective work that brings together in a single publication the most outstanding seismic features related to this exceptional event. The seismic data were acquired during numerous offshore surveys over the last few years. The seismic facies, geometry and extension of Messinian markers (surface units and deposits) are described in the 13 case studies selected.

The succession in absolute ages of Messinian events, or the processes at the origin of their occurrence in space and time, are not part of the topics discussed, the objective of this Atlas being to :

  1. to draw up a portrait of the Messinian markers from the most important margins and basins;
  2. propose a new global and consistent terminology for these markers for the entire Mediterranean marine area, and
  3. make these data accessible to the non-geophysical community.

Interpreted seismic data have been carefully selected according to their quality, location and significance to achieve these objectives and are presented in this Atlas.


  • 1 Explanatory note
  • 1 summary of the organisation of the markers allowing for inter-site comparison.
  • 43 pages presenting the 13 areas studied according to the following themes: regional context, MSC surfaces, MSC basin units, and for some specific areas, detritus and/or salt tectonics
  • 1 CD containing raw and interpreted seismic data

The Atlas illustrates the study of the marginal segments and basins of the 13 areas with different structural, geodynamic and geological histories (e.g. intermediate/deep basin; sill/no sill; active/passive margin; thin/thick sedimentary cover, etc.). The Atlas allows for an integrated study at the Mediterranean basin scale. This new approach, based on multi-site comparative studies, paves the way for future discussions on the impact of the CSM and the improvement of the documentation of how the CSM has left its mark on the marine domain.

A new global terminology is proposed for the MSC markers (erosion surfaces and deposits). The terminology for deposits is based on their seismic facies and the geometric relationship of these units to the Mobile Unit (transparent facies and its associated plastic deformation). Surfaces were defined on the basis of their relationship to the Pre-MSC and MSC units, and the Plio-Quaternary cover.

Contributors :
J. Benkhelil, S. Berné, C. Bertoni, L. Camera, J.A. Cartwright, A. Capron, S. Dümmong, C. Hübscher, G. Lericolais, S. Leroy, J. Mascle, A. Mauffret, B. Mercier de Lépinay, E. M. Obone Zue Obame, J. P. Rehault, B. Savoye, N. Sellier, E. Tahchi, G. VOn Gronefeld, A. K. Yelles
Design and layout by Johanna Lofi

Additional information

Weight 0.26 kg




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