Tyrrhenian Sea

The Tyrrhenian Sea (/tɪˈriːniən/; Italian: Mar Tirreno [mar tirˈrɛːno], French: Mer Tyrrhénienne [mɛʁ tiʁenjɛn], Sardinian: Mare Tirrenu, Corsican: Mari Tirrenu, Sicilian: Mari Tirrenu, Neapolitan: Mare Tirreno) 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.

Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea map
Tyrrhenian Sea.
LocationMediterranean Sea
Coordinates40°N 12°E / 40°N 12°ECoordinates: 40°N 12°E / 40°N 12°E
TypeSea
Basin countriesFrance, Italy
Surface area275,000 km2 (106,200 sq mi)
Average depth2,000 m (6,562 ft)
Max. depth3,785 m (12,418 ft)

Geography

The sea is bounded by the islands of Corsica and Sardinia (to the west), the Italian peninsula (regions of Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata, and Calabria) to the east, and the island of Sicily (to the south).[1] The Tyrrhenian sea also includes a number of small islands like Capri, Elba, Ischia and Ustica.[2]

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:[3]

Exits

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

Exit Location Width Connected Sea
Corsica Channel between Tuscany and Corsica 42°50′N 9°45′E / 42.833°N 9.750°E 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 Basin 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.[4]

Geology

The Tyrrhenian Sea is a back-arc basin that formed due to the rollback of the Calabrian slab towards South-East during the Neogene.[4] Episodes of fast and slow trench retreat formed first the Vavilov basin and, then, the Marsili basin.[5] Submarine volcanoes formed because trench retreat produces extension in the overriding plate allowing the mantle to rise below the surface and partially melt. The magmatism here is also affected by the fluids released from the slab.

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.[6] The Etruscans settled along the coast of modern Tuscany and referred to the water as the "Sea of the Etruscans".

Islands

Islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea include:

  • Corsica
  • Sardinia
  • Sicily
  • Elba
  • Ischia
  • Capri
  • Ustica[7]

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 later refloated and towed to Genoa for scrapping.

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.

Image gallery

References

  1. ^ The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Tyrrhenian Sea". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopedia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "Tyrrhenian Sea - Map & Details". World Atlas. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Limits of Oceans and Seas (PDF). Organisation hydrographique internationale (3rd ed.). 1953. p. 17. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Sartori, Renzo (2003). "The Tyrrhenian back-arc basin and subduction of the Ionian lithosphere" (PDF). Episodes. University of Bologna. 26 (3): 217–221. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2008.
  5. ^ Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca; Giardini, Domenico; Lucente, Pio (2001). "Episodic back-arc extension during restricted mantle convection in the Central Mediterranean". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 187 (1–2): 105–116. doi:10.1016/s0012-821x(01)00280-1. ISSN 0012-821X.
  6. ^ "The Origins of the Etruscans". San José State University. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  7. ^ "Map of Tyrrhenian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea Map, History Facts, Tyrrhenian Sea Location - World Atlas". www.worldatlas.com. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
1343 Naples earthquake

The 1343 earthquake struck the Tyrrhenian Sea and Bay of Naples on November 25, 1343. Underground shocks were felt in Naples and caused significant damage and loss of lives. Of major note was a tsunami created by the earthquake which destroyed many ships in Naples and destroyed many ports along the Amalfi Coast including Amalfi itself. The effects of the tsunami were observed by the poet Petrarch, whose ship was forced to return to port, and recorded in the fifth book of his Epistolae familiares.

Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands () (Italian: Isole Eolie, pronounced [ˈiːzole eˈɔːlje], Sicilian: Ìsuli Eoli, Greek: Αιολίδες Νήσοι, Aiolides Nisoi) are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The islands' inhabitants are known as Aeolians (Italian: Eoliani). The Aeolian Islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer and attract up to 200,000 visitors annually.

The largest island is Lipari and the islands are sometimes referred to as the Lipari Islands or Lipari group. The other islands include Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Basiluzzo.

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast (Italian: Costiera Amalfitana) is a stretch of coastline on the northern coast of the Salerno Gulf on the Tyrrhenian Sea, located in the Province of Salerno of southern Italy.

The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist destination for the region and Italy as a whole, attracting thousands of tourists annually. In 1997, the Amalfi Coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Battle of Pianosa

The Battle of Pianosa is a naval engagement which took place on April 25, 1519 when a Genoese fleet inflicted a severe defeat on the flotilla of the Tunisia-based Barbary corsair Kaid Ali in the Tyrrhenian Sea, in view of the island of Elba. The battle broke the back of one of the rising corsair bases on the Barbary Coast, Bizerte, and established Andrea Doria as one of the foremost captains in the Mediterranean .

Campanian Archipelago

The Campanian Archipelago (Italian: Arcipelago Campano), also called Neapolitan Archipelago (Arcipelago Napoletano), is an archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, in southwestern Italy. It principally comprises 5 islands: Capri, Ischia, Nisida, Procida, and Vivara. Most of the archipelago belongs to the Metropolitan City of Naples (and previously part of the Province of Naples).

Capri

Capri (usually pronounced by English speakers; Italian: [ˈkaːpri], Neapolitan: [ˈkɑːpri]) is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. The main town Capri that is located on the island shares the name. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic.

Some of the main features of the island include the Marina Piccola (the little harbour), the Belvedere of Tragara (a high panoramic promenade lined with villas), the limestone crags called sea stacks that project above the sea (the faraglioni), the town of Anacapri, the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra),the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas, and the various towns surrounding the Island of Capri including Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Sorrento, Nerano, and Naples.

Capri is part of the region of Campania, Metropolitan City of Naples. The town of Capri is a comune and the island's main population centre. The island has two harbours, Marina Piccola and Marina Grande (the main port of the island). The separate comune of Anacapri is located high on the hills to the west.

Fiumicino

Fiumicino (Italian: [fjumiˈtʃiːno]) is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, Lazio, central Italy, with a population of 80,500 (2019). It is famous for the presence of the Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, the busiest airport in Italy and the sixth busiest in Europe.

Gulf of Gaeta

The Gulf of Gaeta is a body of water on the west coast of Italy and part of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is bounded by Cape Circeo in the north, Ischia and the Gulf of Naples in the south, and the Pontine Islands in the west.

The gulf is named for the nearby Italian city of Gaeta. The Volturno is the primary river draining into the gulf.

Gulf of Naples

The Gulf of Naples (Italian: Golfo di Napoli; Neapolitan: Gurfo 'e Napule; Latin: Crater), also called the Bay of Naples, is a roughly 15-kilometer-wide (9.3 mi) gulf located along the south-western coast of Italy (province of Naples, Campania region). It opens to the west into the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered on the north by the cities of Naples and Pozzuoli, on the east by Mount Vesuvius, and on the south by the Sorrento Peninsula and the main town of the peninsula, Sorrento. The Peninsula separates the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno, which includes the Amalfi Coast.

The islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida are located in the Gulf of Naples. The area is a tourist destination, with the seaside Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum at the foot of Mount Vesuvius (destroyed in the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius), along the north coast.

Along with the island of Ischia and gulfs of Pozzuoli and Gaeta, local waters are home to varieties of whales and dolphins including fin and sperm whales.

Gulf of Salerno

The Gulf of Salerno is a gulf of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the coast of the province of Salerno in south-western Italy. The northern part of this coast is the Costiera Amalfitana, including towns like Amalfi, Maiori, Positano and the city of Salerno itself.

The Gulf of Salerno is separated from the Gulf of Naples (on the north) by the Sorrentine Peninsula, while from the south it is bounded by the Cilento coast.

Lipari

Lipari (Italian pronunciation: [ˈliːpari], Sicilian: Lìpari, Latin: Lipara, Ancient Greek: Μελιγουνίς Meligounis or Λιπάρα Lipara) is the largest of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the northern coast of Sicily, southern Italy; it is also the name of the island's main town and comune, which is administratively part of the Metropolitan City of Messina. Its population is 12,734, but during the May to September tourist season, the total population may reach up to 20,000.

Lucania

Lucania (Greek: Λευκανία, translit. Leukanía, lit. 'Levkanía (Modern Greek)') was an ancient area of Southern Italy. It was the land of the Lucani, an Oscan people. It extended from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Gulf of Taranto.

It bordered with Samnium and Campania in the north, Apulia in the east, and Bruttium in the south-west, at the tip of the peninsula which is now called Calabria. It thus comprised almost all the modern region of Basilicata, the southern part of the Province of Salerno (the Cilento area) and a northern portion of the Province of Cosenza.

The precise limits were the river Silarus in the north-west, which separated it from Campania, and the Bradanus, which flows into the Gulf of Taranto, in the east. The lower tract of the river Laus, which flows from a ridge of the Apennine Mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea in an east-west direction, marked part of the border with Bruttium.

Ombrone

The Ombrone (Latin: Umbro) is a 160-kilometre (99 mi) long river in Tuscany, central Italy.

The Ombrone's source is near Castelnuovo Berardenga, on the south-eastern side of the Monti del Chianti. After a twisting route, it receives the waters of the tributaries Arbia, Merse and Orcia before reaching the plain near Istia d'Ombrone.

It subsequently passes near the city of Grosseto, before flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Phlegraean Islands

The Phlegraean Islands (Italian: Isole Flegree [ˈiːzole fleˈɡrɛːe]; Neapolitan: Isule Flegree) is an archipelago in the Gulf of Naples and the Campania region of southern Italy.

The name is derived from the common affiliation to the geologic area of the Phlegraean Fields.

Sorrento Peninsula

The Sorrento Peninsula or Sorrentine Peninsula is a peninsula located in southern Italy that separates the Gulf of Naples to the north from the Gulf of Salerno to the south.

Strait of Messina

The Strait of Messina (Italian: Stretto di Messina), is a narrow strait between the eastern tip of Sicily (Punta del Faro) and the western tip of Calabria (Punta Pezzo) in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north with the Ionian Sea to the south, within the central Mediterranean. At its narrowest point, between Torre Faro and Villa San Giovanni, it is 3.1 km (1.9 mi) wide. At the town of Messina it is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) wide. The strait's maximum depth is about 250 m (820 ft).

The strait has strong tidal currents that create a unique marine ecosystem. A natural whirlpool in the northern portion of the strait has been linked to the Greek legend of Scylla and Charybdis. In some circumstances, the mirage of Fata Morgana can be observed when looking at Sicily from Calabria. With its bottleneck shape, it is also a compulsory point of transit of the migration of many bird species.

In 1957, a 220 kV overhead power line was built across the Strait of Messina. Its pylons are among the highest in the world. This power line has since been replaced by a submarine power cable, but the pylons remain and are protected as historical monuments (see Pylons of Messina).

Tiber

The Tiber (; Latin: Tiberis; Italian: Tevere [ˈteːvere]) is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometres (252 mi) through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, where it is joined by the river Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino. It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 square kilometres (6,709 sq mi). The river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome, founded on its eastern banks.

The river rises at Mount Fumaiolo in central Italy and flows in a generally southerly direction past Perugia and Rome to meet the sea at Ostia. Popularly called flavus ("the blond"), in reference to the yellowish colour of its water, the Tiber has heavily advanced at the mouth by about 3 kilometres (2 miles) since Roman times, leaving the ancient port of Ostia Antica 6 kilometres (4 miles) inland. However, it does not form a proportional delta, owing to a strong north-flowing sea current close to the shore, to the steep shelving of the coast, and to slow tectonic subsidence.

Tuscan Archipelago

The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea, west of Tuscany, Italy.

The islands' proximity to several major cities has made them a favourite tourist location. History and literature have ensured that most people are familiar with the islands of Elba and Montecristo.

Ustica

Ustica (Sicilian: Ùstica) is the name of a small island, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) across, situated 52 kilometres (32 mi) north of Capo Gallo, Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Roughly 1,300 people live in the comune (municipality) of the same name. There is regular ferry service from the island to Palermo, Italy.

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