On the post-25 Ma geodynamic evolution of the western Mediterranean

Erwan Gueguen, Carlo Doglioni*, Manuel Fernandez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

555 Citations (Scopus)


During the Neogene and Quaternary western Mediterranean geodynamics were dominated by the 'eastward' migration of the Apenninic arc and associated back-arc basins. The migration was controlled by retreat of the Apenninic slab and was associated with 'boudinage' of the lithosphere in the back-arc area. Palaeo-reconstruction of the kinematics of the arc suggests about 775 km of migration from the Late Oligocene to present along a transect from the Gulf of Lions to Calabria. A maximum of 135 km of N-S converge occurred between Africa and Europe during the same time span. The western Mediterranean was thus mainly shaped by the migration of the slab related to west-directed subduction. It is hypothesized that minor N-S convergence deformed the arc but was not the cause of its formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • 'Roll-back'
  • Geodynamic evolution
  • Marginal basins
  • Post-25 Ma
  • Western Mediterranean


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