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    You are here:HomeItaly: an Encyclopedia of Quaternary SciencesMarine Geology

    Marine Geology

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    Marine Geology

    Italy is a rather small country with an extremely varied and complex geology also in its continental margins, their stratal architecture and their Quaternary deposits. In the Adriatic Sea, a narrow foredeep constrained between the Apennines and Dynarids, the Po River created lowstands prograding sequences that almost filled-up the whole basin forming a low-gradient shelf that was then quickly transgressed. In the Ionian Sea the accretionary prism present above the subducting Ionian plate is affected by diffuse fluid escape, overthrusting, while the high-sedimentation rate causes the continental slope to be unstable, deeply affected by mass wasting and carved by countless canyons. The Sicily Channel is an intraplate rift with widespread volcanism. In 1831, with a surtseyan eruption, caused the emergence of an island and a French/British/Italian race to colonise it. The Back-arc Tyrrhenian Sea hosts large volcanic seamounts with active hydrothermal activity and extensive canyon systems. Finally, explosive volcanism, strong seismicity with deep-seated hypocentres, and high-relief coasts with frequent flash-flood let the coast be particularly subject to geo-hazards.