Tyrrhenian Sea

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Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea map.png
Tyrrhenian Sea.
Location Mediterranean Sea
Type Sea
Basin countries France, Italy
Surface area 275,000 km2 (106,200 sq mi)
Average depth 2,000 m (6,562 ft)
Max. depth 3,785 m (12,418 ft)

The Tyrrhenian Sea (/tˈrniən ˈs/; Corsican: Mari Tirrenu, French: Mer Tyrrhénienne [mɛʁ tiʁenjɛn], Italian: Mar Tirreno [mar tirˈrɛːno], Neapolitan: Mar Tirreno, Sardinian: Mare Tirrenu, Sicilian: Mari Tirrenu) is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. It is named for the Tyrrhenian people, identified since the 6th century BCE with the Etruscans of Italy.

Geography

The sea is bounded by Corsica and Sardinia (to the west), the Italian peninsula (regions of Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata, and Calabria) to the east, and Sicily (to the south).

The maximum depth of the sea is 3,785 metres (12,418 ft).

The Tyrrhenian Sea is situated near where the African and Eurasian Plates meet; therefore mountain chains and active volcanoes such as Mount Marsili are found in its depths. The eight Aeolian Islands and Ustica are located in the southern part of the sea, north of Sicily.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Tyrrhenian Sea as follows:[1]

  • In the Strait of Messina: A line joining the North extreme of Cape Paci (15°42′E) with the East extreme of the Island of Sicily, Cape Peloro (38°16′N).
  • On the Southwest: A line running from Cape Lilibeo (West extreme of Sicily) to the South extreme of Cape Teulada (8°38′E) in Sardinia.
  • In the Strait of Bonifacio: A line joining the West extreme of Cape Testa (41°14′N) in Sardinia with the Southwest extreme of Cape Feno (41°23′N) in Corsica.
  • On the North: A line joining Cape Corse (Cape Grosso, 9°23′E) in Corsica, with Tinetto Island (Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.) and thence through Tino and Palmaria islands to San Pietro Point (Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.) on the coast of Italy.

Exits

There are four exits from the Tyrrhenian Sea (north to south):

Exit Location Width Connected Sea
Corsica Channel between Tuscany and Corsica Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. about 80 kilometres (50 mi) Ligurian Sea
Strait of Bonifacio between Corsica and Sardinia 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) Mediterranean Sea (proper)
no name between Sardinia and Sicily about 290 kilometres (180 mi) Mediterranean Sea (proper)
Strait of Messina between Sicily and Calabria on the toe of Italy 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) Ionian Sea

Basins

The Tyrrhenian Sea is divided into two basins (or plains), the Vavilov plain and the Marsili plain. They are separated by the undersea ridge known as the Issel Bridge, after Arturo Issel.[2]

Name

Its name derives from the Greek name for the Etruscans, who were said to be emigrants from Lydia and led by the prince Tyrrhenus.[3] The Etruscans settled along the coast of modern Tuscany and referred to the water as the "Sea of the Etruscans".

Ports

The main ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy are: Naples, Palermo, Civitavecchia (Rome), Salerno, Trapani and Gioia Tauro. In France the most important port is Bastia.

Note that even though the phrase "port of Rome" is frequently used, there is in fact no port in Rome. Instead, the "port of Rome" refers to the maritime facilities at Civitavecchia, some 68 km (42 miles) to the northwest of Rome, not too far from its airport.

Giglio Porto is a small island port in this area. It rose to prominence, when the Costa Concordia ran aground a few metres off the coast of Giglio and sank. The ship was recently removed and towed to Genoa.

Winds

In Greek mythology, it is believed that the cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea housed the four winds kept by Aeolus. The winds are the Mistral from the Rhône valley, the Libeccio from the southwest, and the Sirocco and Ostro from the south.

Gallery

References

  1. "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  2. Sartori, Renzo (2003). "The Tyrrhenian back-arc basin and subduction of the Ionian lithosphere" (PDF). Episodes. 26 (3): 217–221. [dead link]
  3. "The Origins of the Etruscans". San José State University. Retrieved December 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

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